Monday, July 9, 2012

Talking and Listening

The summer storms are popping up today, and it brings such needed relief from a long hot stretch.  We reached triple digits six days in a row, and I for one am ready for a cool down.  The lightening is sharp outside my window; the rain is pouring, and the thunder is rolling.  There are many explanations we give to our children for the sound of thunder and the flashes of lightening.  "Smile, God is taking your picture!"  "God is clapping for you!"  "The angels are bowling in heaven!"

I remember as a child wishing that the thunder could just be God talking to me.  Wouldn't it be amazing if He could just audibly send us the answers to our questions the same way He audibly sends the thunder down to earth?  We talk to Him and He answers right back.  Like in Acts 22 when Paul is telling of His encounter with Jesus.  He asks in verse 10, "And I said, What shall I do LORD?, and the Lord said unto me..."  Paul audibly heard the Lord answer his question.  Oh how I long for those audible answers some days!

The topic of prayer has been woven throughout my life the past 2 weeks.  I listened to a wonderful sermon by Charles Stanley last week on talking to and listening to God.  The lyrics to the old hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus" was in one of my devotions, one of my girls' devotions and then we actually sang it last Sunday (That one was really amazing - same song - 3 times in 1 week!!!).  And then I heard another great sermon on prayer from my own pastor yesterday...God are you trying to get my attention????

Prayer involves so many aspects...praise, adoration, confession and truly expressing our desires to God.  After praying and truly talking to God, our hearts feel relieved, our burdens less heavy, our spirits are lifted, and we know He heard us.  But when we neglect that time with our Savior, we carry so much on us that we can physically ache.  As the lyrics to the song says, "Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer."

I will be the first to admit I struggle at times with talking with God, but more than that, I struggle to truly listen for God.  He may not speak to me as the thunder claps, but He does speak through the Holy Spirit and through His Word.  I ask for help, but I do not sit and wait for an answer.  I am antsy and ready to move on.   There are other things calling for my attention, and sitting and waiting is not something I do well.  Being still, which is something He tells us to do in Ps 46:10, is so hard for me!  Listening for that nudge, for that small silent voice seems impossible some days.  I love to read.  I love to pray.  But I do not like to just be still and silent.

Today's Verse
Psalms 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

He is there to listen.  He is our refuge and our strength.  Another way my Women's KJV Study Bible puts it as "an abundantly available help in trouble."  God is abundantly available...ALL THE TIME.  We just have to be willing to put our time in, pick up our end of the phone line, talk and then be still and listen for the help.  It is a two-way conversation and I am so glad He is my "very present help in trouble."

Open my heart,
as I open my Bible.
Open my eyes, 
as I open Your Word.
Open my ears,
as I open Your teachings.
Open my thoughts,
as I open Your guidance.
Open my self,
as I open Your answers.
Open me.
Use me.
Show me Your will!

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