Monday, September 12, 2011
Want to hear from God? Try being quiet.
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