Really Present, Really Listening

A classmate shared today about an interview with Mother Theresa, in which she was asked about her prayer life with God. When asked what she said in prayer, she answered, “Nothing. I listen.” When asked what God said, she answered, “Nothing. He listens.”

How powerful and true. Often we are taught (though don’t necessarily “do”) to listen in prayer, but often we forget that God also listens. So often we are waiting for God to speak, but how much more comes from His listening. How amazing that the creator of the universe wants to listen to us! I also love contemplative prayer, in which we just sit with God, not even listening, but just being.

This also makes me think of how our prayer time with God is a model for how we spend time with others. Do we have conversations in which we really listen to the other person, and are fully present with the other person? So often, we are partly listening, partly thinking what we want to say, and partly thinking through our grocery list in our head.

How much more vibrant would the kingdom of God be if we learn how to listen and be present with others?

We can begin to learn this by being fully present and listening in prayer with God.

No Need to Shift Gears

Scripture

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Meditation

Last week, I started to feel burned out around the edges. The Lord called me back to the daily spiritual disciplines I’d neglected: praying in the Spirit, meditating on Scripture, worshiping and practicing His presence. I spent two glorious days practicing these things and resting in the Spirit. The second afternoon, it was time to go back to work at the Church. I had a prayer ministry session on my schedule, followed by a healing class and a middle school class. As I got ready to leave, I said, “It’s hard to switch gears, Lord.” What I meant was that it was hard to come out of that place of resting in His Spirit, so that I could “go to work.” The Lord seemed to smile and say, “Which gear were you going to shift to, Janet? Is this resting place with you and Me not working?” I had to laugh. He is so wise! He was right (of course). He didn’t bring me back to that place of resting in His Spirit and depending on Him for everything, just to send me out to do His work in another gear! I went to work that afternoon, still in that place of spiritual rest. It was the best workday I’d had in a long time.

Prayer

Lord, help us to find our place of rest in Your Spirit, whether we’re resting at home or busy at work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thought for the Day

Where can you find rest in Him today?

Holding onto Peace

I felt so tired tonight and I asked God why. Why should I be this tired on a Monday? He gently reminded me of my meltdown this morning. He’s told me that a lot lately. I lack energy for no apparent reason. I’m healthy. I’m resting. I’ve resumed my spiritual disciplines. I’m taking regular sabbatical time. I continually sift through the things I do, to be sure I’m only doing what God would have me do. Everything should be great. I shouldn’t get this tired.

He reminded me that every time I have a meltdown, every time I worry, every time I fail to trust Him … even for 10 minutes … I exhaust my energy. I can’t keep doing that. He’s said it before and He said it again tonight. It’s not what I do, it’s how I do it that costs me.

I can’t keep climbing out of that place of peace and rest in God. I have to stay in His rest. I have to learn not to react, not to worry, not to fret, not to melt down.

He often reminds me of the sea of glass around His throne. The sea of glass has no waves or ripples. It is undisturbed. It is a place of perfect peace. That sea of glass must be felt and seen around me as well. I must abide in Him, and stay in His rest and peace.

I can only do that through His help. And so I’m asking, “Lord, please help me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”