Active listening – How to Control the Mental Racket when I Pray
A lesson on active listening
The other day I read a post about being an active listener and how important it can be. I have a head that never stops thinking except when I am asleep. And I’m not sure about that either as I do have dreams.
When I’m listening to someone I do try to keep eye contact and be fully engaged. The problem is that I can get so engaged with what been said that it brings to mind other ideas. And then I feel like I’m going to burst because I want to interact. I know I need to wait for the person to stop talking or at least a break in the conversation. But as you see this leads to not actively listening. If I wait until they are finished I will lose those thoughts. That shouldn’t bother me – but it does.
I want to work on this part of me. I want to find a way of actively listening without interrupting. In church I take sermon notes. This helps me to relax, assured that if I have a question I can jot it down to ask the minister later.
This whole thing made me think about my relationship with God and how I talk to Him. My prayers consist mostly of my talking. Period. That’s it.
Could I sit still and really clear my mind of my thoughts and questions and wait for God to speak?
The first time I tried this, years ago, I couldn’t sit still for longer than 5 minutes. After that time I became restless and uncomfortable.
I have, over the years, become better at this. But lately I know I have once again reverted back to talk, talk and talk some more.
That is until yesterday when I read this verse in the Bible from Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.
Oh my – yes that’s what’s been missing I thought.
He says He will instruct, teach and counsel me.
So for the first time in a long time I sat quietly before God. It took me a few uncomfortable, head-filled restless minutes, but eventually I relaxed and opened my heart and head to His Presence.
I felt Him. I felt the peace of Jesus. I even had a few pictures in my mind too. But mostly I heard – You’ve come back.
In my SIMPLE Method of Bible study the outline using these letters gives a time to pray and listen to God. If you want to know more about this method, Join my newsletter and get a free PDF.
May I pray for you and me?
Father, we know we have very active minds that sometimes don’t want to shut down. Help us to learn how to clear our hearts and minds of the mental clatter to be able to hear from You. Give us time to be present with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until next time, while you study a verse or passage take time to pray and listen to God’s voice. You will be inspired.
You can listen to this devotional on my podcast for Hope Stream Radio.
Thanks for reading!
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