Monday, February 15, 2016

Before You Ask Him

By Melanie Rigney

So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not be returned to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

From all their distress God rescues the just. (Psalm 34:18b)

By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions],
via Wikimedia Commons.
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8)

Lord, comfort me in my discomfort. Show me Your light in my darkness.

I find as time goes on, the less I talk and the more I listen when it comes to my friends… and God.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to share with the folks I care for; there’s plenty I could say about work and love and education and research and fears and joys and health scares and physical triumphs. But for this particular time, I feel called to listen… not to give advice, solicited or unsolicited, in most cases or to withhold information in a passive-aggressive way, but to listen. There just isn’t as much need for verbal processing as there once was.

Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, I’m also listening to the Lord more. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown in faith; months of some intentional prayers have worked out in the main as I had hoped. But I also had arrived at a place where if the Father’s wisdom of what was best for me had been different than my own view, I could have accepted it, and in a much more serene state than I would have thought just a few months ago.

Babbling like pagans has its short-term benefits. If you do it, you don’t have to listen to the real hurts and agonies of others… or to the gentle direction of the Lord. But it takes a lot of energy, and doesn’t get us any closer to heaven. In this Lenten season, let’s remember the Lord has it under control… and is delighted to share His plans for us if we give Him the chance to get a word or two into the conversation.

Spend five minutes in your evening prayer time in silence. Listen.

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