Listening to God

David Muyskens

READ : 1 Samuel 3:4-10

“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (v. 10)

The word for prayer in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, means to open oneself to God. In prayer I enter a relationship in which I am attentive to God, listening as well as speaking.

If I truly want to pray I need to do some listening to what God is saying to me. Reading the Bible is a way of doing that. I ask God, “What is it that you want to say to me?” As I approach the Bible with that request I am attentive to a word or phrase that seems to carry something that demands my attention. I am not trying to comprehend all that is said in the text. I am paying attention to a word that resonates in me.

When I receive that word I spend some time asking, “What does this mean for me? What am I being told? How does this apply to my life?”

Then I form my words of response. It may be in thanksgiving for what I have heard. It may be a petition for help in following what is indicated.

Finally, I let the word I have received sink deep into my heart. I give some time of silence to this. Then I can take that word with me for the day. Listening prayer isn’t easy, just richly rewarding.


Help us, Triune God, to listen attentively to your word for us. Amen.