Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Recently I read an article by John Eldredge (author of Wild at Heart, Walking with God). It had to do with prayer being dialogue instead of monologue. In the article he kept defining prayer as conversation with God. Most of the time our prayers are more about us doing the talking and God doing the listening. I have never really enjoyed being around people who dominate the talking part of the conversation to the point that there is nothing for me to do but listen. While I may not be a great conversationalist, I do like for my participation to not just be the listening part.
Since I grow weary of one-sided conversations, it should be no surprise to think that God might become weary with them, too. The scripture contains Words like Psalm 143:7 which says, "Answer me, quickly, O Lord," but seldom do we hang around to listen for any divine speaking. We limit God's speaking to speaking through other people, circumstances, or the scripture. That we might actually hear Him speaking in our inner being is not really the expected thing.
Yet, Eldredge kept saying, "Learn to listen." He kept saying we might be surprised if we did. He even gave a few pointers about how we can learn to hear this voice of God. Writing out his conversations with God is the primary way this happens for the author. He says, "The process of writing things down requires focused attention." He really got my attention. Maybe I have been talking too much in my praying. Maybe there really is something to this idea that God intends for for two-way conversation to be normal. After Eldredge's article, I am ready for a little experimenting in prayer. Maybe you are. If you would like a copy of the article, send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.