Through prayer we have access to deep encounters with the heart and mind of our heavenly Father. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."
God longs for us to call to him as our source of life, wisdom, guidance, and truth. He longs to answer our calls by shepherding us into a lifestyle of continually seeking and receiving revelation from his word and Spirit. But in order for us to truly engage with God in prayer, we must learn what it means to listen.
Mother Teresa said, "Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts." I find that we do not pray incorrectly as believers from a lack of earnest desire for God, but rather from a lack of knowledge and past experience. Do you know and believe that you can truly put yourself in the hands of your heavenly Father and listen to his voice as Mother Teresa did? Do you know that your Creator longs to open your eyes and heart to receive the knowledge of his love, will, and divine nature?
Taking time to listen to God in prayer is at the very core of Christian spirituality. It is a skill of the highest value that is only learned by patience, repetition, and faith. You can hear God because he wants to talk to you. You have no less inherent ability to hear God than me, Mother Teresa, or any of the disciples. Those who hear God are simply those who make space and seek out his voice.
Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
In stillness we grow in our knowledge of who God truly is. God longs to make us a people who know him the way you know your family and friends. He longs to make us a people who live, think, and work out of true encounters with him. And learning to encounter God throughout your daily life starts with getting alone in the secret place, quieting your heart, and growing in your knowledge of God. Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:5-6:
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
May you seek and find the knowledge of your heavenly Father today as you enter into the secret place, quiet your heart, and listen to him in guided prayer.
1. Meditate on the importance of listening to your heavenly Father in prayer. Allow Scripture to stir up your faith and desire to know your Creator by being still, opening your heart, and listening.
"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
"My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:1-5
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
2. Ask the Lord to reveal himself to you in the secret place today. Ask him to shepherd you into an encounter with him that you might grow in your knowledge of his heart.
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18
3. Take time to simply listen to God. He knows what you need even before you ask him for it. He will speak to you exactly what you need to hear. Pay attention to the way you feel as you quiet your heart. Pay attention to thoughts and ideas that he places in your heart. Pay attention to any desires that shift.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." Jeremiah 33:3
Brother Lawrence said, "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God." Meeting with God consistently is the foundation of everything God desires to give you in this life. All of the abundant life stems from a place of intimate and continuous encounters with your heavenly Father. May your ears and heart be opened to receiving the knowledge of your Father's love, grace, and purpose for your life. May you experience to greater levels the joy of intimacy with the God of love. And may your heart come alive in the stillness of meeting with the God who dwells in all of eternity.
Extended Reading: Psalm 42
or watch The Bible Project’s video on Psalms