I taught my Knight’s Code teaching at a men’s conference this past weekend in short seminars. As I was talking about prayer, a man around thirty walked in late and sat down. He began to listen intently. My next point was this: We have all been taught that prayer means talking to God. But I want to challenge you to learn to listen to Him too. Allow your prayer time to become a two-way street where you talk, then you listen, asking God to speak to you.
The young man’s hand shot up. “I got a question,” he said. “You’re saying that I should tell God whatever I need to and then I should just sit in the quiet and listen for Him to speak?” I said, “Yes, that’s what I’m saying.” He then continued, “Okay, when I read the Word, I feel like God speaks to me through that. Should I not be expecting Him to speak to me there, but when I listen during prayer?” “Great question,” I said. “It’s both, not either or. The Spirit will speak to you through the Word, as you said, but I’m also encouraging you to spend focused time listening after you talk in prayer.”
I quoted John 10 about the sheep learning to hear Jesus’ voice and asked how do the sheep learn His voice other than by listening and identifying?
I quoted Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” How do we know Him? Being still and listening.
I quoted Mark 1:35, paraphrasing, “Jesus got up early in the morning, went off by Himself and prayed to His Father.” I asked, “Do we picture Jesus rattling off His list for the day, saying Amen, and then charging off to wake the disciples? Well, I don’t. I picture Him wanting to listen, waiting, to hear His Father’s voice.”
The young man responded, “I see that. Wow, this is why I came here today!”
Isn’t it funny how something as simple as adding in listening time to our prayers and asking God to speak to us can be a game changer. It’s not rocket science or end times theology. Just a simple concept to learn our Father’s voice in a practical way.
You know those guys that when you see them coming, you know you are about to do a lot of listening? You know you likely won’t talk much, if at all, and they may not even care if you do? . . . None of us want to be that guy to God.
Let’s talk, pour out, get honest, then listen, and, finally, obey what we hear. That’s how they will know that we are His disciples.
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. —Matthew 6:6 MSG