Posted: 08 Mar 2014 06:41 AM PST
Read: 1 Samuel 3:4-10
Speak, for your servant is listening. (v. 10 NRSV)
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. –David Muyskens
Prayer: Help us, Triune God, to listen attentively to your word for us. Amen.
Words of Hope is an international media ministry, founded and owned by classes of the RCA, dedicated to building the church in the hard places. The Words of Hope devotional encourages readers to grow spiritually through daily Bible readings and prayer. To subscribe, please visit: woh.org/word/devotionals/.