“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” ~Mother Teresa
We are in the holy and sacred season of Lent, a time many use for fasting, prayer, and reflection. In essence, it’s a chance to calm the waters of our hearts and take time to really listen to what God is trying to say to us. It was with these thoughts in mind that I sat down to intentionally pray this morning.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
This was the sound I kept hearing as I sat down to pray. Every time I tried to focus, I was distracted by the deafening drip from the kitchen faucet. I put a stop to the unwanted drips, and sat down again to focus.
Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
How had the clock become so loud all of a sudden? All this noise needed to stop so I could have complete silence to be with God. That’s when it hit me—it wasn’t the noise in my house that was distracting me; it was the noise in my heart.
I needed to figure out how to silence my heart so I could truly hear my Father. As I sat there, restless, I could feel God tugging at me to surrender everything that was burdening me. My restless thoughts were blocking me from really hearing God. I was making time to spend with Him, but I wasn’t listening. I needed to lay down my own thoughts, quiet my mind, and silence my heart to hear and receive what God had waiting for me.
Silence is a precious commodity in our world today. It seems most places are absolutely consumed with noise. Everyone is begging to be heard, but few people are truly listening.
I am going to be honest with you—I struggle with being a great listener. True, genuine, listening is hard. I enter every conversation with the full intention of listening to every word. But at some point, I tend to shift from listening to preparing my response. I stop fully hearing the person in front of me the moment I focus on my own thoughts. If I am this way with my family and friends, it only makes sense that this is the way I am when I come to my Father.
We have to choose to surrender our own thoughts in order to enjoy the privilege of hearing another’s heart.
We have to do the same when we come into the presence of our Lord in prayer.
If you have found yourself talking more than listening, feeling surrounded by noise, and carrying a heart full of unrest, then this is a perfect opportunity to slow down, quiet your heart, and listen to what God has to say in the silence.
Lord, I ask that You help us surrender every thought and emotion that is holding us back from listening to You today. Please take all the noise from our hearts and replace it with Your peace and calm so we can truly hear You.
Scripture for Reflection
“But I have calmed and quieted my soul.” (Psalm 131:2 ESV)
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5-6 NIV)
“Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” (Proverbs 8:24 NIV)
Reach for More
This week’s challenge is to take time to calm our hearts and truly listen. Practice genuine listening with a friend this week. Be intentional about focusing on their words and not on your response. Then practice genuine listening with God. Find a moment to quiet your heart, lay down all your restless thoughts at His feet, and truly listen to what He wants to speak to you in the silence.
Dear friends, we can do this. Let’s be brave enough to calm our hearts, get comfortable with the silence, and truly listen.
Please, come back and leave a comment telling us about how God spoke to you this week, or share your progress on social media using the hashtag #tgtreachformore. We would love to hear from you.
Sarah Lundgren has a passion for all things sparkly, loves God with her whole heart, and is known to love Starbucks chai lattes a whole lot, too. Sarah is currently snuggled in the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan with her sweet hubby, J, and her full-time job is making pretty things all day long for her Etsy business, so sarah designs, but she also loves writing devotional content here at The Glorious Table.