Listening for God
God speaks in silence
Quiet prayer time allows us to hear God.
When two friends are together in a noisy place, it can be hard for each to hear what the other is saying. Once they move somewhere that is quiet, they finally hear each other clearly. In a similar way, God is always reaching out to us, but we can’t hear him because of all of the noise. When we set aside quiet time to be with God, we start to hear God more clearly.
God usually doesn’t speak in a booming voice.
In your daily prayer time, you won’t normally hear a loud voice from heaven or see a miraculous sign. It is more likely that he will speak to you by gentle tugs on your mind and heart. It is like the experience of the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament: instead of revealing himself in a big, noisy manner, God spoke in a “still, small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)
In silence, God gives you new insights.
Perhaps you have been sharing with Jesus how a coworker has hurt you. As you sit quietly, lifting your mind and heart to the Lord, he brings to mind a forgotten experience from years earlier, when you hurt a friend in a similar way. You begin to feel more compassion and understanding toward the coworker.
In silence, you see how God is at work.
Perhaps you have been telling Jesus about a situation that is causing you a great deal of worry and anxiety. As you sit quietly, he helps you remember several other times in your life when you felt like you were in an impossible situation. Looking back, you see that he took care of you each time and opened unexpected doors. You experience deeper peace and calm, trusting that he will take care of you now, too.
In silence, God guides you.
Perhaps while quiet with Jesus, he brings the image of a friend to mind, seemingly out of nowhere. You haven’t spoken to the friend in quite a while, but you feel a tug at your heart that the Lord might be asking you to give her a call. When you call her after your prayer time, you discover that she was facing a very difficult decision and that she had been praying for someone to reach out to her!
Your friendship with God starts to deepen.
As we spend time each day in prayer, talking with the Lord and listening, our friendship with him starts to deepen. He becomes a friend: not just someone we have heard about, but someone we know. In our next message, we will explore how we can invite Jesus to speak to us through Scripture.