Did you ever notice that God gave us two ears but only one mouth? Sometimes we forget this when we go to pray, and we spend the whole time talking to God. Listening is a particularly simple way to pray, but it can be challenging if you’re not used to it.
- Make space – listening takes time and it helps if you start by removing distractions. Choose a place and time that helps you focus on God.
- Clear your head – many people find it difficult to still their minds when they sit in silence. If you find you’re thinking of things you need to do, make a list for later then put it to one side.
- Don’t worry – if the thoughts filling your mind are about situations or worries you want to pray about, don’t try to push them down. Give them to God one at a time and then let go of them. Don’t let anxiety absorb your energy.
- Learn to recognise His voice – God can speak in many ways. He can use our thoughts, feelings, the bible, our experiences or our surroundings to capture our attention. If you find your mind filling with pictures or thoughts that seem a bit strange or random. Pay attention to them and test whether you think they’re God’s voice. He will not contradict what He’s said in His word, and the Holy Spirit can help you with discernment – the ability to tell God’s voice from others or ours.
As you finish be sure to write everything down, even the things that seem strange or unrelated to anything. If God is speaking He will continue the conversation, or you can ask Him to confirm what He’s said in other ways as you go on with your day or week. If they are just random thoughts, that’s okay; it’s all part of the process of learning.