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Every day we repeat our requests and prayers. And we always want God to listen to us. We repeat our request once, twice, a dozen times if necessary, because we want answers. We repeat and insist before God.
Our problems and needs are urgent, they cannot wait. However, in this process we forget a fundamental step: if we want to be heard, we also need to hear, listen to God. But what is the meaning of hearing or listening to God?
Listening to God requires effort on our part but God can hear us, if he desires. He is Sovereign! For example, we have to believe that God loves us and wants to communicate with us. A prophet in the Bible tells us that “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
To listen to God we need to consistently read, study and meditate in His living Word, the Bible. Another biblical prophet named Isaiah cited God saying: “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
To listen to God we have to regularly set aside time alone with God and give him our full attention. The Apostle Matthew tells us that Jesus “went into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23)
To listen to God we must open our hearts to God’s pointing finger of truth over our true selves. In the Bible there is a psalm that says: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Constantly God speaks through circumstances, people, and especially through His Word, the Bible. God says, for example, that our love for Him must be sincere. Listening to God is to listen carefully to others, considering that God may be using them to communicate his personal message to us. “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Proverbs 13:10)
Listening to God is to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit within us and responding to his guidance for our communication with others. Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said.” (John 14:26)
He also tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. God tells us many things, but we speak so much that we cannot hear his voice. If you are not willing to listen to what God wants to say, there is no reason to expect God to hear what you want to tell him!
God speaks to us, He is not deaf or mute, he hears us and communicates with us. God shows us who he is and what he wants from us.