Teach me, Lord, to listen.
Many voices compete for your attention and your devotion. Some of these voices are good and wonderful whereas others are voices with ulterior motives. The challenge we have is to learn which voices are voices that lead to life and wholeness, and which lead to hurt and pain.
At Jesus’ trial, he is questioned by the one man who has the power of life and death, Pilate. With his inquiry, he will decide if crucifixion is in order, or freedom. Read this Good Friday story and pay attention to not only Jesus’ words, but also the way that Pilate listens. Read John 18:33-40.
Do you see what happens? Pilate is the consummate politician. He is playing to the crowd and the crowd is crying out that they want another released. In the next chapter, the crowd chants, “Crucify, Crucify!” This one who had the power to listen chose to listen to the clamor of the angry than to truly listen to the voice before him.
If we are walking through life with this simple prayer, Teach me, Lord, to listen, I believe we will learn the great skill of discerning God in all places. We will learn that the popular crowd isn’t always the right crowd. We’ll learn to distinguish the holy voice of God as we allow the spacious attentiveness of our soul to meet with God. As we continue in this season of Lent, may you listen closely to the Still Speaking God!