Sometimes when praying the hardest part is being still enough we can actually listen to what is actually been said to us.
We are all so wrapped up in the intensity of prayer – are we doing it right? – have we prayed for the right things? – if we prayed out loud did it make sense?
If we are listening to others praying do we hear them? Are their prayers really what they mean? Do we understand what they are saying?
A Vicar, who I have a lot of respect for once said in response to hearing my intercessions. “Why do you have so much detail in your prayers? God knows the small print stick to the facts.”
Wise words and of course that’s true but what about the congregation ? Would they know that my prayers for the village school were because a teacher was ill and ofstead was looming? Or that giving thanks for the good weather was really relief that we had managed to get the much-needed work done on the graveyard?
But that’s not the main place we need to be listening. Not only do we need to listen for God to talk to us and guide us in our life but we need to listen to each other.
There is non so blind as those we cannot see except in this case hear!
Did the lady praying for the Food bank really mean to prompt people to donate as stock was getting low?
Did the request for good weather at the fete really mean a request for help as the prospect of organising was becoming overwhelming?
Prayers are a cry for help not only from the Lord but from each other.
Five minutes listening to the someone over coffee at the end of a service can at times be a struggle, there are other people you may want to chat to, there are chores to do to tidy away the church but stop take that time. You may be the first person they have spoken to in days.
Don’t talk over the person in your prayer group or bible study class as you feel your point is more valid or more important. Slow down and listen.
Thinking things to do for Lent why not pledge to listen – really stop and listen to someone this lent. You have no idea who God is using to talk to you.