Listening in prayer

Martin Luther’s last written words were, “We are all beggars. That is true.”

How much might have to come our way before we can really grasp that and take it to heart?

Prayer includes asking and listening, among other things which we’ve been discussing. I’ve noticed that God’s model is often to allow us to come to the realization that we are in need, or to allow us to be emptied for a time and to feel the loss or the void before anything else happens. Next, we endure that for however long the Lord sees fit to help us acknowledge that we can’t control the situation or fill our own void. In due time, He then meets us with Himself and, as appropriate, He addresses those requests we have.

What this process does is that it brings us to our knees. We begin to discover something of what it means to be homeless or hungry spiritually and we know that we can’t meet that need with the resources we have apart from God. Allowing this humbling work to be done in us opens the door for us to listen to Him in a way that we may have never thought to do so before. We are bent towards Him and compelled because we start to distinguish the noise in the world from the voice of God.

Some of the work that He is doing in me is prompting me to admit, as Luther aptly claims, that I am a beggar. Even as I have been in the process of being broken down, tilled, stripped away, and sifted, I am still too proud and I don’t know what else it will take for me to be where the Lord wants me to be, but in this painful time, I am slowly becoming the quieted infant instead of the screamer. In that silence, I fully expect that God will speak and I will have the capacity to listen to Him in a way I have not before.

When you listen for God, what does He say?

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