Active Faith

Listening to Prayer

He is a relational God, and He wants to communicate with us. by Captain Stephanie Pavlakis

Prayer has rarely come to me easily. I would much rather do a study in Scripture than set aside a chunk of time for prayer. In general, I don’t consider myself to be a social person. I run out of things to say and am not a fan of small talk. Prayer always seemed like a social type of spiritual discipline. Then I learned of listening prayer. Listening is an essential part of communication. Listening builds trust, understanding, wisdom, relationship and must be an integral part of our prayer life.

Prayer has rarely come to me easily. I would much rather do a study in Scripture than set aside a chunk of time for prayer. In general, I don’t consider myself to be a social person. I run out of things to say and am not a fan of small talk. Prayer always seemed like a social type of spiritual discipline. Then I learned of listening prayer. Listening is an essential part of communication. Listening builds trust, understanding, wisdom, relationship and must be an integral part of our prayer life.

One of my first true attempts at listening prayer was in a hotel room in Vancouver, Washington. With my husband taking a nap and my infant daughter playing on the ground, I sat on the couch and opened my Bible. After reading, I closed my eyes and tried to listen. I heard the heater click on, the sound of my husband breathing, a coo from my daughter. Once my mind was stilled, God nudged me to open my eyes and I saw my daughter playing. She filled me with joy. In that moment, I heard God say, “This is how I feel about you.” He finds joy in me. I bring a smile to His face. Not because I have done anything spectacular, but simply because He loves me.

Sometimes we are so busy going, doing, working, speaking, that we forget to be still and to listen. If we neglect to include listening as part of our prayer life, it isn’t really prayer; it’s just a monologue, not a conversation. A relationship is richer when those involved equally partake in listening. He is a relational God, and He wants to communicate with us. Still yourself and listen. The Creator of the Universe is speaking.

Going Deeper

  • Schedule a time simply to listen to the Lord. Start small. Set a timer so you can focus solely on listening and not worry about the time.
  • Quiet your mind. Take time beforehand to jot down everything you’re thinking of so you can let it go.
  • Consider a verse to meditate on as you enter this time of listening.
  • Don’t be disheartened if you do not hear an audible word. Simply spending time in His presence in this way will strengthen your relationship with Him.

Steps to Salvation

The Bible states that God loves you and cares for you as a person (John 3:16). Humankind has been separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). God sent His Son as a provision for our salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (Romans 5:8). Doing good deeds is not enough (Ephesians 2:8-9), but receiving the free gift of salvation is (John 1:12).

You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying something like the following:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need Your forgiveness and grace. I believe that Christ paid the penalty for my sin, and He died in my place, and He rose from the dead. I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as Savior. Thank You for saving me from my sin and making me Your child. Help me to grow and learn how to serve You.Amen.

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