Becoming a Better Listener

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:15-17).

It happens to all of us! We see a homeless person, come upon the scene of an accident…or hear of a family in financial need. Immediately we may think to pray in each of these situations, “Lord, please help that person. Send someone to meet that need!” What if God wants to use you and your family to be the answer to your prayer? Are you prepared to back up your prayers with action if the Lord directs? I believe that our Father wants us to learn how to be the hands and feet of His Son to hurting or lost people.

Since Jesus lives in us we should consider as we pray what He would do to meet this need or help this person if He were physically present – because He is! He is physically present in the midst of every situation because He is incarnate – in us! Could this thought and realization change the way you respond to the prayers that you pray? Instead of thinking that you have done the right thing by praying and then moving along to the next activity of your day…do you need to take your prayer to the next level by listening to what the voice of the Spirit speaks to your heart? How many opportunities have we missed because we have not acted in response to the impulse of the Spirit urging us to make Jesus known in the midst of lives or situations?

I believe that many prayers we pray can be answered quickly and with amazing results if we become better listeners to the voice of the Holy Spirit. If we could learn to change our mindset as we pray, I believe we would be used of God in mighty ways to be His agents of transformation. Can you imagine how fulfilling and exciting your lives would be if your family would continually wait upon the Lord to see how He may want to use you to be the answer to prayers that you pray?

Holy Spirit, my spiritual ears are often plugged up as You seek to guide my heart towards Your purposes! How often I miss Your promptings to be the answer to the prayers I pray! Please teach me to be Jesus to the people I pray for so that I might partner with the Father in meeting the needs of those who are seeking a touch from His hand.

Adapted from the article Are You Ready to Be the Answer to the Prayers You Pray? By Kim Butts, author of The Praying Family: Creative Ways to Pray Together.

Prayer Points

Read Ps. 86:15-17 and praise God for his marvelous compassion, grace, love, and faithfulness to you. Thank him for turning to you and having mercy on you. Confess any lack of appreciation for God’s saving work in your life. Commit yourself to loving God wholeheartedly in response to his love for you. Ask God to give you a sign of his goodness.

Ask that people in your neighborhood who do not yet know Jesus will be drawn to him by observing your Christlike behavior. Pray that they will have the boldness to ask about the faith they see in you.

Prayer Pointer

“God has chosen prayer as the key by which his church does its work. Through prayer we impact the world for God.” —Anonymous

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.  This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.