The other half of prayer

We listen to our spouses, our bosses, our children, our neighbors, ourselves, our own impulses, our stomaches, our own mouths, our cars when they rattle or squeak, our homes when they creak, radio, television, podcasts, but do we take time to listen to God?

We say prayers, make requests, say things we’ve said before, babbling on, searching for words, making petitions, waiting for answers in comfort for ourselves or friends, discuss medical issues, say a little prayer, but do we listen?

The other half of prayer is listening. The other day my brother, Brent, said he started his day with five minutes of silence–it wasn’t the first time he’d ever started the day in silence but perhaps the first he’d done intentionally in silent waiting for the Lord. I’m 40 this year, and it has taken me this long–I’m a slow learner– that the other half of prayer is listening and waiting in silence on God.

Here’s something to try: Sit down in a comfortable chair to put on your shoes. After you slip them on or tie them, don’t get up yet. Sit and wait in silence for five minutes. Ask God for a new awareness today of his goodness. Listen.