"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God."
I went on a walk by myself last night. I rarely walk alone after dark. Not that we live in an unsafe neighborhood. I've just trained myself to err on the side of caution. But last night the warm, balmy air was calling to me. I wanted to venture out alone. I threw caution to the wind and stepped out into the quiet evening, grateful for the solitude. How refreshing it was to breathe in the tranquility as I exhaled the day's accumulated stresses.
It only took a minute for me to grab hold of the fact that I wasn't really alone. My constant companion was right there beside me, keeping step...going before me...covering my back. Any hesitations I had about my evening stroll vanished with that thought. And the floodgates of communication between my God and me burst wide open. True, I did much of the talking, which is typical of my prayer time. But last night, I paused to listen ~ just listen. And what I heard in my spirit was more beautiful than any symphony. It was God's spirit speaking to my spirit in ways that are beyond description.
There is nothing more powerful or rich than a new glimpse into God Himself. Couple that with a personal side note directed solely to you, and you realize ~ you are stepping on holy ground. I don't need to share the details of my message that I heard from the throne of heaven. What's important here is that He speaks. He longs to reveal more of Himself to us, and to share nuggets of gold from His heart to ours. Are we listening? Are we willing to pause and drown out the noise of this world so we can tune into His presence...and His voice? Will we set aside our list of demands and concerns long enough to actually hear a word or two in our conversation with our Father? Sometimes I picture Him shaking His head and thinking, "If only you'd be quiet for a moment so I could get a word in edgewise. You could hear the marvelous things I want to say to you!"
I think we can sabotage our own personal growth by telling Him everything on our hearts and minds that He already knows in detail and foregoing the silent listening. In doing all the talking, we cheat ourselves out of rich and life-changing treasures.
I get it. Last night's walk taught me more than the sweet message I heard God speak to me. It taught me to quiet myself and give a listening ear to the God of the Universe. Approach Him in awe and wonder, with an open mind and heart. Then prepare to have Him bless the socks off of me.
Prayer ~ the art of listening. Who knew? I want to live my life prayerfully.
"To have God speak to the heart is a majestic experience, an experience that people may miss if they monopolize the conversation and never pause to hear God's responses."
"To pray is to listen to the One who calls you 'my beloved daughter,' 'my beloved son,' and 'my beloved child'. To pray is to let that voice speak to the center of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being."
"The lover of silence draws close to God. He talks to Him in secret and God enlightens him."
"Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God's voice is its most essential part. Listening to God's voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine."
"Prayer is not a discourse. It is a form of life, the life with God. That is why it is not confined to the moment of verbal statement."