Sit Down and Listen

Sitting meditating pray

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.“ Proverbs 1:5

Winston Churchill said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak: courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” I find the second harder to do, especially in my prayer time. How about you?

I am often guilty of treating God like a celestial Santa Claus, bringing my lists of wants and expecting Him to fill them because I have been a good girl this year. I believe we should bring our desires, troubles, and even confessions to God. It takes courage and honesty to openly come before Him. He knows them anyway before we speak. Like the patient, loving, Abba Father He is, He takes time to listen, knowing there are things we need to get off our chest. God always listens to us. Wouldn’t it be prudent to return the favor?

If prayer is truly a conversation, then we should listen for His response instead of doing all the talking. Perhaps we could even let Him speak first. I have begun to incorporate this practice into my prayer time. I begin by being still, I listen and come into His presence with thanksgiving, as Psalm 100 states.

I am thankful my Lord is a loving God who cares and stops to hear my needs. I’m thankful He died on the cross so I can come to Him, and that I have life eternal. I am thankful for all the times He has heard and responded. Then I end my time with listening as well.

I believe our Lord always does respond. That may not be at the time we decide we can carve out a few minutes of reflection time. It may be later in the day, or the week, or the month. But His response will come, and as always, in perfect timing. Will we be listening? Or will we try to solve the problem ourselves, or be off on another task, or too occupied by worry to catch His response?

Dearest Father in Heaven, we can never thank you enough for all the goodness you bestow in your grace and mercy for us. Forgive us for the times we do not stop, sit and listen to your will, advice, correction, or answer. Help us to have the courage to come before your throne honestly with our needs, but then give us the faith and courage to be willing to listen, and then accept your response. Through Jesus’ name, amen.

By Julie Cosgrove

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Remember the Promises in His Word

Isaiah 43:25

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.”  Psalm 119:49

Whatever your specific need is, you will likely find a promise about it in the Bible.

Are you feeling wearied and weak because your life has been troubling and tiring? Here is the promise: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29) When you read such a promise, take it back to our great God who promised it, and ask Him to fulfill His own word.

Are you seeking after Christ, and yearning for closer relationship with Him? This promise shines like a star upon you: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Take that promise to God’s throne continually. Do not plead anything else, but go to God over and over again, praying “Lord, You have said it, I humbly ask that You do as You have said.”

Are you distressed because of sin, and burdened with the heavy load of your wrongdoings? Listen to these words: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25) You have no worth of your own to deserve God’s pardon, but plead His written promises and He will perform them.

Are you afraid that you won’t be able to persevere to the end? Do you fear that, after having thought yourself to be a child of God, you might instead be a ‘castaway’? Take this word of grace to God’s throne and plead it: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” (Isaiah 54:10)

If you have lost the sweet sense of the Savior’s presence, and are seeking Him with a sorrowful heart, remember these promises: “Return to me, and I will return to you” (Malachi 3:7) and “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.” (Isaiah 54:7) Rest your faith upon God’s own word, and whatever your fears or desires, look to God’s “Bank of Faith” in your Father’s written word, saying, “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.

Question: Which of God’s promises that you just read resonated most powerfully with you, and why?

by Charles H. Spurgeon
Updated to modern English by Darren Hewer, 2008.

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