So how do you learn to listen? For me it started with a need to hear from God. Good listening starts with the desire to learn. If you can handle life without Him, you will not hear from Him. It is not a matter of setting aside more time, albeit, that would be good. “Be silent . . . before the Lord” (Zech. 2:13) does not mean actual decibel silence, but silence in your mind. The world can be very loud around me, but I can still quiet my heart and mind whether in an airport or in the woods.
Remaining silent before God does not mean that you will have no thoughts or reflections. It does mean you will stop telling God your needs, and say with Samuel, “Speak. Lord, for Your servant hears” (1 Sam. 3:9). To pray without ceasing, it will be necessary to stop one-sided chatter.
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Thank You, Lord, for teaching me how to be still before You. I praise You for speaking in the quietness as I wait upon You. As I still my heart before You, there is always a sense of Your pleasure that I can’t sense when I barge into Your presence with my requests. I long to learn what it means to truly “pray without ceasing” in every circumstance of life. I know that I cannot handle life without You. Speak, Lord, for I am listening!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 38, How to Pray without Ceasing by Cornell Haan). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God, the one who is your dwelling place (Ps. 90:1). Thank him for giving you a wonderful inheritance in Jesus Christ, “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade” (1 Pet. 1:4). Confess moments during the past day or week when you’ve looked for other “dwelling places.” Commit yourself to living under the authority and love of your heavenly Father. Ask God to show you today why his “dwelling place” is the best.
Pray that you will be enabled to show to an unbeliever by your word and deed why it is that you trust God as your dwelling place.
CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA! Sometimes, in the rush of the Christmas season, we do not always focus our thoughts, our hearts and our minds on Christ, the very reason we celebrate. As your family begins to look toward the celebration of the birth of Christ (the first advent–coming), take time each day to focus on the One we long to see face to face. Set apart a time of devotion together to anticipate and await with delight the coming of the Christ Child–God’s own Son! Don’t allow Him to get lost in the shuffle of activity– even as you physically prepare to celebrate. Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming of the Christ Child