Monday, April 29, 2013

Active Listening in Conversation with God

Are You and Active Listener?  What About When You Are Desiring an Answer from God?

I'm going to go way out on a limb here.  I have a brand new theory about listening.  I believe that we can break folks down into various kinds of listening and listeners.  Maybe someone else has done a much better job of this analysis, but I'm going to just put it out there without any research.

1.  You listen, but half of your mind is already deciding what you are going to say
2.  You listen, but you know that you already know what your friend is going to say
3.  You listen half heartedly, because you could care less about what the other person is saying
4.  You listen very carefully, because the subject is important to you
5.  You listen really, really carefully, because you need something from the person
6.  You actively listen because you are intrigued by the conversation and the person
7.  You actively listen because whether or not the information is useful, you love and respect the person, and want to show it by the intensity of your attention
8.  You listen with one ear while you read something on your laptop, work on a project, or catch the TV out of the corner of your eye.
9.  You listen because you are shy, and it is easier to listen than to engage
10.  You listen because you know soon it will be your turn, and you want the same respect

Did I leave anything out?  Let me know in the comments.  

Now, go back through the list and think about your conversations with the Heavenly Father or Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  Whether in prayer, Bible reading, hearing the teaching of pastors or others appointed to preach, or being in the presence of wise counsel, do you have the same 10 possible approaches?
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So I'm toying around with this idea of active listening.  If I've asked something of God such as a prayer request, or for wisdom in a matter, or for direction, or for His call on my life, do I ask and just go about my business?

Even if I'm praying His names, or the Lord's Prayer, or the armor, or some Psalms, or repenting, or thanking Him, shouldn't I still be actively listening for His response.

I suspect that you are like me, and that you kind of figure He's going to find a way to get my attention.  That makes a lot of sense.  But I wonder if there would be a bigger blessing in our conversations with loved ones and associates if we were more active in our listening at all times.  And then I wonder the same thing about our quiet times with God.

P.S.  I did a bit of research.  I didn't invent the idea of active listening.  LOL

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