We’d heard about each other and finally had a few quick minutes to actually meet. She introduced herself and told me about her husband and children. She was so excited and continued to share a bit about her background, where she was from, how long they’d lived in the area, some friends she’d recently met and a quick synopsis of what God was doing in her life.
In a matter of minutes, I felt like I knew her.
About that time her husband joined us and as quickly as she came, she had to leave.
As we parted ways, she exclaimed, “Wow! I just talked about myself the whole time and I didn’t learn anything about you! Next time I want to hear all about you.”
She reminded me of my prayer life on some days.
I have so much to tell God about internal struggles, new challenges I’m facing, concerns with the kids and other family members, friends who are facing health crises, self-discovery, praises for the things that are going well and asking for my trust to increase through it all. I finish my laundry list and am interrupted by yet another distraction. “Amen,” I whisper, as I complete my time in prayer.
“Wow, God, I just talked about myself the whole time and I didn’t learn anything about you! Next time I want to hear all about you.”
Nowadays I’m learning that prayer really is a two-way street. And I need to spend more time listening than talking.
As I think of friendships and relationships, I’ve come to realize the way to get to know someone is to spend time with them. Listening. If you want someone to know you, the natural way is to spend time sharing about yourself and your stories. But Jesus already knows me.
So, in order to get to know Jesus more intimately, I must spend time listening to Him share about Himself and His stories. It’s been said that God speaks in several ways. The most common would be through prayer, His Word, His people and through circumstances. Along with sitting quietly before Him, I listen for His heart as He speaks through these ways.
I long to abide with Jesus. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening intently with a heart to obey.*
“O, Lord, may my prayer to you be that of sharing my heart, and may my longing be that of listening to Yours. And may I always listen more than I speak. Amen.”
*The definition of abide by my friend, Cynthia Heald