October 20, 2005


That seems to be a lost art in our society, listening. People are often too busy trying to convince someone that their point of view is right that we don't make any effort to consider what the other person or people are saying.

This also applies to prayer. It is easy, especially if we lead a very busy life, to talk to God (isn't that the essence of prayer?) and get on with the next task on our long list of things to do. We often don't take time to be still and give Him a chance to respond.

I had a great experience doing just that last night. The leadership of our church met at our new facility, still strewn with construction debris, lights dangling from the unfinished ceiling, and no functioning toilets. After opening with corporate prayer, Apostle Dale was led to direct each of us to pray about a specific area of our church's ministry. We then came back together and shared what God has told us regarding those prayers. It was some truly exciting stuff!

I'm still new at some of this, and I felt the Lord touch me in a way that I could not remember happening before. As I talked with Him about what we needed to reach the lost (the area I had been asked to cover with my prayer), I stopped several times and soaked in whatever the Holy Spirit would send me.

I stood there by myself in the shell of our upstairs office area with only the light from the parking lot providing any illumination. What I saw, though, was Apostle Dale's office, very tastefully appointed, with him sitting there providing guidance and leadership as per his Apostolic calling. I saw myself and others leading small groups in the meeting room, teaching and reaching out to people, helping them open their hearts and minds to be filled with the Spirit.
I've never heard "The Voice of God," but I never felt his presence more than I did last night. He showed me part of his plans for how he would answer my prayers and gave me not only encouragement to stay the course but also emboldened me to give even more of myself to His ministry.

I listened and I received answers. If you are praying without ceasing, you may need to stop long enough to give God time enough to answer them. Praying is a form of communication, and any type of communication is only effective if it is two-way.


  1. Thanks for this reminder and it came at great timing!

  2. Years ago, one of the men I was guiding as he entered the community told me that he realized most of his prayer consisted of, "Listen, Lord! Your servant is speaking." So often the case, isn't it? I realized that my prayers are too often a laundry list of instructions to God on what to do, instead of humbly listening to what God wants me to do.

    John of the Cross points out that the mother of Jesus at Cana -- a popular story for Catholics about her intercession with her son -- doesn't tell Jesus what to do. To him, she notes the situation: "They have no wine." It is to the servants that she gives instructions: "Do whatever he tells you."