Prayer is a neglected Christian discipline. But, the prayer of listening is the most neglected. We are familiar with requests. We are less comfortable with thanksgiving, intercession praise, confession, forgiveness. But, we know next to nothing about sitting before the Lord in quietness, waiting upon Him.
Each week, in addition to those other regular periods of prayer, I set aside several contemplation sessions. These may last from 15 minutes to an hour. Beginning always with praise, once I am aware of being in the Presence of the Lord, I start the process of disciplining my mind to listen. It is indeed a discipline. All the human realities begin to interject themselves. Dinners need to be prepared, phone calls made, writing planned. No! It is You, Lord, I seek to hear, not these. Help me to fasten my mind on Your Presence.
For many years I was tutored daily at His hand during these sessions. It was amazing how much there was to learn. After a while I began to experience silence. Sometimes there were infrequent directives as to ministry, and fewer awesome reminders from the Word as to needs for inner correction. But, I began to learn that the silence was in itself the voice of God. This is the quiet of the Spirit, a communication which occurs without words.
I rose from these sessions of quiet bathed in a peace beyond understanding. It was not unusual that the moment I stood to my feet and opened my bedroom door, ministry began—someone called, tears choking the voice, or someone rang the doorbell needing to be encouraged. Because I had come so lately from that listening place, I was able to hear Him tell me what was needed for this person to be touched significantly.
Learning to listen to God, giving Him the courtesy of unrushed communion, will automatically ensure that quiet quality of being able to listen in a supernatural way to the needs of our fellow men and women.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.