Prayer as Listening

by Judith Lawrence

In the first book of Kings, chapter 19, we read of how Elijah had been rushing about; he was running away from the pursuit of the prophets of Baal and he ended up in a cave on the side of a mountain where he hid, not only from the pursuing enemy but also from God.

Violent winds and rain, lightning, thunder, fire and earthquakes stormed all around him. Elijah expected to hear and see God in the storm and fire and, because he was afraid for his life, he hid from God in the cave where he felt protected. But in all that noise and destruction, Elijah did not hear the voice of God.

Then the storm ceased and Elijah heard a gentle whisper; he stood up, wrapped himself in a holy garment, and went to the entrance of the cave; there he listened in reverent awe to the quiet voice of God. There in the quietness Elijah discovered that he was at the threshold of God

It is in the quietness that we hear God; when we stop rushing about; when we stop being afraid of the mighty windstorm; when we realize there is nowhere to go from the earthquake; when we stop being consumed by the raging fire; when we finally listen in the silence and hear the gentle whisper of God, and what he is telling us, then we can go in confidence, peace, and without fear, to what God is calling us to do.

We have to stop creating turmoil within, be at peace, and trust in the Lord.

© Judith Lawrence