Thursday, June 3, 2010

Talk Less Listen Often

Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NIV)

Weird as it may seem these days, I grew up in a home where we sat down to breakfast every morning. But, before we could eat, my dad would pray. . .for everything under God’s created sun! As a little girl my only prayer at breakfast was, “please let Daddy stop before my scrambled eggs get cold!” Dad was and remains to this day a “prayer warrior.” But on a recent visit I discovered that age had mellowed him. His verbal prayers aren’t any shorter but, they also include deep silences.

Recently I read about an interview that a reporter had with Mother Teresa during her ministry. He asked Mother Teresa, How do you pray? Her response, I listen. And what does God say, responded the reporter. He listens too, came her reply.

Praying is part of our spiritual development. An essential food group for our soul. But I believe that Mother Teresa understood the core of praying - listening. When I reflect on my own prayer life I realize how much of it is spent with me talking. Yes, I give God praise. I thank Him. I confess and I lay out my concerns and my desires. But, so much of it is done with words. To not be quick with your mouth, to let your words be few calls for being content in quietness. It is in these deep silences that I truly discover God’s heart, God’s desire.

Unfortunately, much of what we think are God directives come as a result of our talking so much that we believe our own self promotion. The exercise of letting our words be few is one that requires a daily discipline; practicing periods of silence, simply being silent in God’s presence, allowing Him to get His word into our hearts, our souls, our minds.

Jesus, I am listening -
Ready to hear You speak.

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