We all know that a sound relationship is a two-way street. Likewise, so is a proper prayer relationship. Prayer should be a conversation, a dialogue between a child and a Father, between a friend and a Heavenly Friend. So we must make sure that we take time to listen. As important as it is to pray and to record our prayers, it is every bit as important to listen to the Lord.
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.
In Scripture, young Samuel understood how to stop and listen for God’s voice. He didn’t pray, “Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking.” No, he prayed, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening!” (1 Samuel 3:10) It will do us well to follow suit.
It’s a difficult concept to define, this idea of “hearing” the voice of God. But this much I know to be true: When we pray, asking for God’s guidance, He is faithful to direct our steps. He might open or close a door. He might speak to us through a friend. He might prompt in us some word or deed that we never would have discovered ourselves. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” And so, we pray. We tell God with sincere hearts that we desire to pursue His will. We ask Him with boldness and great belief to speak to our hearts and shape our ways.
To put ourselves in the best position to hear from God, we need to set aside a quiet time every day – a time preferably at the beginning of the day – to be alone with God in order to listen to Him, speak with Him, and open His Word. When I follow this prescription, I find the prayer not only changes things, it changes me. It changes my attitude, it changes my priorities, and it gets my life in sync with God’s plan.