Whenever I am preparing sermons, writing blogs or getting ready for anything that could be viewed or heard by others, I pray for spiritual guidance and clarity on the message.
Prayer for me is more than uttering a laundry list of things that I need from God. I believe that God requires something from me as well. If I only tell God what I want and don’t position myself to hear from God, the answer could very well come and be missed. I wrestle with the illusion of being too busy and becoming distracted by other voices.
Prayer is incomplete if we don’t listen for answers. I don’t usually consider it asking God a question per se, but when I was in school we were taught that if someone asks a question, it’s proper to respond with an answer. I expect God to answer me when I pray. I don’t want a one-sided conversation, especially when I need input in order to accomplish anything significant.
But in prayer, we must listen for God’s answer. It may not come in an audible voice, although it can. It may not come immediately, which means that it can come at any time. My husband does not like it when he is talking to me or asking me something and there is a long delay before I answer him. My response is usually not life-altering; he could choose not to listen anymore. That is not the case with me and God. I need to be prepared for Him to speak at any time.
Recently, I prayed for God’s direction about what to write, but I lost my sense of expectancy for a response since it did not come immediately. It was getting down to the wire and I felt like I had nothing. Meanwhile, I had the television on and was about to watch a third episode of Law & Order when I sensed the Lord telling me that the reason I had not heard from Him was because I was distracted. My mouth said that I was being attentive to Him, but my ear was only receiving the voices from the television. I am not suggesting that God’s voice could not have elevated loud enough to overshadow the television; my ability to receive was the issue.
Prayer is a two-sided conversation, and we must wait for God’s answer. Waiting for God’s answer means that we must keep our reception open and expect Him to speak through a still, small voice, an event or circumstance. Sometimes He speaks to us through others.
My prayer point is for us to remain open and receptive to hear God’s answer at any time. We must not confuse our ability to hear with His ability to speak. Complete the loop in prayer and remember when you ask a question that you should expect an answer. Wait for it.
God bless you.