Monday, September 12, 2011

Want to hear from God? Try being quiet.

Lately, I've been asking God to help me get to know Him. I want to know Him. Like a friend. Like a father. Sometimes I feel like He's so far away, busy running the universe, or just absent, like my earthly father always was. I know in my head He's right here, but sometimes my heart does not agree.

Usually my time with God turns out to be a one-sided list of requests. Can you heal so and so? Will you save my kids? Get so and so a job, help me be more like you. All great requests! And certainly we need to pray them. But how much time does that take? And once we've asked God for something, do we need to repeat it daily? I think somewhere in the back of our minds, we think God might forget, or maybe if we keep bombarding God with our request, He'll get tired of hearing about it and just grant it. 

But God isn't like that. He doesn't forget. He cares intensely about every tiny detail of your life. He hears and even knows your requests before you ask them.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him Matthew 6:7

I'm reminded of the story of the unjust judge in Luke 18. The story is about a widow who comes before this mean, unjust judge daily asking for justice, and finally he grants it to her just to shut her up!  I think many of us take this the wrong way. We assume Jesus is telling us that we have to do the same thing with God.  But God isn't unjust. He is nothing like that judge. He hears, He remembers, He answers.
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth  Luke 18:7-8
Yes, God wants to hear from us and answer our prayers. And yes, we should cry out to Him day and night, but do you think He wants to hear the same prayer over and over? Would you do that to a friend? Keep asking them for the same thing over and over. It shows a lack of faith in that person. When someone asks me to pray for them, I pray for them that instant. If God brings them to mind at a later date or time, I lift them up again. Otherwise, I leave it in God's hands and start thanking Him for His answer. That's not to say you shouldn't ever repeat a request. Sometimes for something that is really burdening me, I will just mention the name or topic to God and say "You know." He knows what I prayed for. He's knows what's best.

So, instead of repeating my list of requests, I've been spending my prayer time praising God, thanking Him and asking Him questions. Then I try to be quiet. Close my eyes and meditate on God, on how wonderful He is. I try to open my spiritual ears to listen to Him. Because I know He wants to talk to me as much as I want to talk to Him!  And you know what? I've been hearing Him. Not audibly.. but deep inside. Sometimes it's just an overwelming feeling of love and peace. Other times it's words. An answer I've been seeking. An impression that always brings clairty and peace. 

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

So, if you're prayer life has grown a little stale. If you're bored with asking the same things over and over. Try worshiping God in silence. I guarantee, with a little practice, you'll hear from Him!

Be still, and know that I am God  Psalm 46:10


  1. MaryLu, this is a great devotion. I totally agree with you. I, too, pray immediately for those who ask for prayer. Mainly because I fear I will totally forget to do it later and I don't want that to happen. I spend my God-and-me time reading His Word and trying to better myself in His eyes. As I spend time with Him, I am sometimes reminded of someone who I have prayed for and I send up another prayer at that moment. Otherwise, I believe that God does not forget, so I will not make Him upset by 'bugging' Him constantly. Thanks for this post.

  2. Very interesting post, MaryLu! I have been really struggling with prayer lately. I often feel like I am just reading a list off to a wall. Maybe that is my problem, I talk too much and don’t listen enough. Thank you for the encouragement! I hope you have a blessed week! =D

  3. i agree, I found this message and the Scriptures so encouraging, and it is perfect timing because I have been struggling with my prayer time. I had a feeling I needed to focus more on being quiet before God, just simply seeking Him and His presence, and not busily trying to figure out what I should say to Him next. So, reading your message today really confirms that!

    Thank you for sharing what God laid on your heart and what He has shown you, and reminding us that God is not at all like that unjust judge. But, if an ungodly judge can choose to show mercy and bring about justice, how much more so does God want to and will bring about justice for His children! It reminds me of Matthew 7:9-11:

    “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

  4. Thanks for your comments, ladies! I'm so glad my post helped you in some way. Prayer has always been a struggle for me. I think it's because my mind is always flitting about from subject to subject. And I've really gotten to a point in my walk where I'm tired of hearing myself talk and really really want to hear God speak to me.
    It's nice to know that God used this post to confirm the same thing in your hearts as well. I suppose that means He's speaking to all of us!
    I love that verse in Matthew, Kimberly! He's such a good God!

  5. YES, silence! That is important with praying; to not only talk to God but listen to Him. I agree. That is something I need to do more often, but its difficult to find those quiet moments in my day. Wouldn't it be nice if God just sent us a text or an email telling us what He wanted of us? I'm thinking that would be to easy but it would definitely help me. lol
    Great post. In fact, all your posts that you take time out of your day to write up for us are very uplifting. Sometimes I cant finish reading them or forget to post; but I do thank you for sharing your wisdom, MaryLu. =)
    God Bless!

  6. Thanks Tori! Yes, I would much prefer God send me an email!! I've often asked Him that. LOL. But I guess he'd rather me spend time alone with Him. :-) And like you said, that time is so hard to find during the day. But so very important!