Most of us live in such an agitated state that we do not hear the voice of God. Our minds are so active that His calm voice can’t get a word in edgewise. We simply do not make space to listen, and God’s word takes root in inner peace. This is why prayer is such a struggle for many of us.
Oh we are people of faith, that’s not the problem. We know what we believe, those truths to which we hold that help us cope with our lives. So many of us have a reservoir of the great truths and teachings of our faith already in our hearts and minds, we listen on Sundays, we know what we believe. And remarkably that’s the good news, that God can use that reservoir of faith to speak to us. Our God draws out of us this wisdom he has been sowing in us all along. So the amazing paradox is that the God we want so desperately to listen to is a God who often speaks by listening to us.
That doesn’t make sense you say. How can one speak by listening?
When we speak to God, his listening heart draws out of us the wisdom he has been sowing in us all along. We need to speak to him in order to hear what we already know. When we speak from our hearts and the reservoir of our faith, into the warm, receptive silence of a God we hear his voice. And when we listen, he tells us the world is far more beautiful that we think. Speaking into God’s warm silence often creates the stillness we need to know that he loves us, to feel protected and listened to.
There is another mysterious attribute of our God. In the toughest challenges, when all we want is for it not to be. That’s when he speaks loudest from the depths of our faith. Those times when we desperately ask: Does God love me? Do I really believe this?
Does Christ’s life, death, and resurrection relate to my present pain? The God who listens to each of us can draw out the peace he has sown into our souls if we but speak to Him.
So speak to him ... and listen.