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September 11, 2015

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The best secret to a meaningful prayer life

by Dave Malnes

If God was sitting across from you right now, what would he be saying to you?

How a Christian answers this question may reflect the quality of their prayer life.

Have you ever had conversations where one person does all of the talking? You come away fatigued. It’s difficult to accept another invitation when you know that you will be kept mute by a persistent talker. I feel bad for the person who comes away refreshed from pouring out their thoughts and emotions. I believe they have missed out on something very important. By not trying to connect, they miss out on deepening their relationship with another person who has given them the gift of listening.

I have often heard that the best conversationalists are those who do most of the listening. They are not intent on dominating the conversation, but focus on investing themselves into the other person. They express love by listening. They serve instead of being served. With their ears and eyes they proclaim, “I care about you. I care about your words.”

When praying to God, are you a talker or are you a listener?

Fruitful conversations are give and take. They are thoughtful responses that honor and reflect upon the words being expressed. Listening is a sacrifice of self that many of us are not willing to take. We are far more prone to offer opinions, vent frustrations, and release whatever is bottled up inside of us. Like a raging current, words flow out of our mouths and fall upon the unsuspecting listener.

In your prayer life, are you a talker or a listener?

If you are the one who is doing most of the talking, then perhaps you are missing out on something very important – deepening your relationship with God. And perhaps that is the secret to a meaningful prayer life.

God talks. We listen. We respond thoughtfully to His Words.

He reminds us of His promises and we respond with words of thanksgiving.

He understands our concerns before we even utter them and we respond with a heart of peace.

He reassures us with His love and we respond with words of joy – hearts that are fulfilled and content.

God certainly welcomes our words. He asks us to pour out our concerns like a persistent widow who has been wronged.

But it seems that the most meaningful times of prayer are when we offer to God the gift of listening and allow Him to do most of the talking through His Word.

The next time you pray to God be a listener. Open up His Word and let God do the talking. He may have some words to share that you need to hear.

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