Open Ears: Prayer Life
I talk too much. And though I consider myself to be a top-knotch listener, that is not always the case. When I ramble, it tends to end up being for my benefit. I use the excuse "I'm a Com major!" but really, I need to shut up.
This is especially true in my prayer life. I can so easily give God an earful about my day, my unknown future, what I'd prefer He pencil into the plan, or things that need to be changed, but in doing so, I'm not really praying as I should be.
Prayer is a two way street. It's not just talking at God, it's talking to God. That means listening is included. And while I may be a Com major, that means me too.
I've begun journaling my prayers before I do my devotions, not only because it helps me stay focused, but because I look forward to going back and seeing what God has done in my life through those prayers. I'm trying not to let my editorial mind take over, and just write from the heart to my Creator.
As I was doing this a few nights ago, I was floored at how much of a difference listening makes in prayer. I had taken away all distractions, and was prayerfully writing -- just chatting with God. Looking at the page after I was finished, I just grinned. What the conversation ended up discussing was nowhere near where I thought it was going. I hadn't had this profound idea -- but I had learned a valuable lesson by the end of the page that was due to listening. I was just talking with God. Honestly talking about my struggles, insecurities, and fears. His "answer" wasn't a parting of the clouds with swarms of doves, but I believe the Holy Spirit has a powerful way of putting ideas into our brains. I just had to listen.
This listening isn't just a headknowledge concept; I think we have to listen with the heart as well. That may sound very 1970s "good vibes," but don't you agree? It's an all-in thing with God; He's all in, and we ought to be as well. That's when the growth happens.
I encourage you to open your ears and heart instead of just opening your mouth while you pray. Listen to what God wants you to learn -- accept His guidance in the conversation.