I heard a sermon on Sunday that I will be chewing on for weeks. One of my youtube pastor’s preached from a passage, we’ve all heard before, but I have to say that I have never heard it like this. If you have some time, you can listen to it:
Anyway, one of the things he said was “The power of prayer is in the listening.” It’s not in the adoration you give. It’s not in the confession of your sins. It’s not in the thanksgiving or in the things you ask God for. While all those things certainly reveal your heart, that’s not where the power comes from. We all know a deacon who can pray down strongholds with his flowery words, and commanding speech. We all know a church mother who can pray away a storm. But according to this pastor, that’s not where the power comes from.
I am not one of those people who prays for 15 minutes straight. If I am praying publicly, I try to stick to that ACTS of prayer formula as best I can. I call out specific needs and then I get out of the way. I don’t know how powerful my prayers might be, but I do know that I pray to an all-powerful God. So I leave all my issues at his feet. I pray enough that I believe the LORD knows my voice. The problem is that I’m not sure I listen enough, that I know his.
I’m not the world’s best listener. I like to argue, so I listen to respond, not necessarily to learn. (Heaven help me!) I’m quick to have a rebuttal. God is probably not impressed by my arguments, no matter how good I think they are. No, I imagine God would much rather I listen and learn.
How much time do you spend listening after you have said what you needed to say? What does listening in prayer look like for you? Is it reading a devotion after prayer? IS it sitting in silence waiting for an answer? How do you hear from God? If prayer is just a conversation with God, which one of you is doing the most talking?
I think it’s time for me to be quiet.