One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
Bryant H. McGill
I've not been praying too much lately. Let me rephrase: I haven't been praying too much lately about stuff outside our spiritual condition. If you are going through a horrible situation, I sympathize deeply, but I will probably focus my prayers on your spirit, not your circumstances. So, I'm somewhat in a state of refusal when it comes to praying over a surgery, an illness, a financial need, etc. I'm not saying it's right, it's just where I am.
Since my dad died in March, I've learned a little bit about God's presence and His power and His plan. (Excuse my Baptist roots coming out in the alteration). Our lives are here for His glory. No matter how He chooses to write our story, I want my response to be "yes, Lord, whatever you see fit--make me able."
I certainly have a plan and far too much will-power to try to muscle my way through to the end, but I know my sense of control is all just an illusion. I make choices, sure. But most of these choices are responses to what life throws me. Will I give in to temptation? Will I scream? Will I praise him in my frustration? How is my attitude?
That said, I've taken a different approach to prayer lately. I'm trying to listen more and talk a whole lot less. If life is about glory and glory is about perspective, than I need to reshape my thinking, and I can't do that if I'm the one constantly talking. I need to step back, shut my mouth, and look at the LORD. Seeing Him more fully will change my attitudes in ways changing my circumstances won't. I don't want to just get over this hurdle, I want the hurdles to seem smaller in light of His miraculous Power and Grace over me.
Does this make sense?
I've also been reading Dale Carnegie's popular book. He talks a lot about making people feel valuable and honored, and we do that best by sincerely praising and by attentively listening.
If my main purpose on this globe is to honor the Lord, wouldn't this above principle hold true with Him as well? Take it a step further with me.
If two people are in the room and one knows everything, understands everyone, loves perfectly, and has all authority, wouldn't the other person be wise to listen more and talk less?
Lord, please give me an attentive ear (Proverbs 2:1-5).
John 10:2-4 ESV
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.