Teach me, Lord, to listen.

We lived hurried lives.  This is not new to the human reality.  Our hurriedness is often a product of our own creation.  We place undue pressure on ourselves, and others, and get our minds moving faster and faster.  Listening, if we are honest, is a tough exercise of patience, of focus and of willingness.  Often we need a sage to teach us the way of listening and model for us this way of life.

The Prophet Samuel was one who at an early age was taught the ways of God.  Early in his journey, his mother takes him to the temple to be mentored by the wise sage, Eli.  In the midst of a night, a remarkable interchange occurs between Eli, Samuel and God.  Read 1 Samuel 3.

Did you hear the instruction of Eli?  He tells Samuel to answer the stirring of the Spirit with the words, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.  And the story of Samuel is one who spends a lifetime listening to God’s voice which leads him to bless all of Israel and leading them in the way of God.  Interestingly, the voice of God kept coming to Samuel but he didn’t understand whose voice it was.  It was in the midst of the wisdom of Eli that he learns to slow down, listen and then respond to that voice.

On this day, may your prayer precede from a place of a willingness to listen.  While it is important to share our prayer needs with God, it may be more important for us to sit in the stance of active listening.  Sure, thoughts and images may flood the mind, but through practice, you will learn to allow those thoughts to drift by and start narrowing in on the ‘still small voice of God.’