The miracle of Prayer is that as you pray you learn how to listen better to God’s voice.
This article is the second in our series as we reflect on prayer. In my last article, I talked about the power of prayer and how prayer changes you. Prayer transforms you into a winner, an achiever and makes you unstoppable. Learn more here.
In this article, I’m going to share with you how prayer helps you listen better.
Listening is a skill, in case you didn’t know. It’s a skill that helps you choose what you want to hear, and which provides you with the kind of information you need.
Let’s use Matthew 11: 25-30 as our Scripture to help us with this reflection.
I’ve found out that people tend to isolate verses from the Bible they love from the rest of the chapter. And, that’s what you may want to do with our Scripture we’re using in this article. I don’t want you to do that though.
Look at the entire chapter, meaning Matthew 11. What you discover are three parts. First, verses 1 through 19 are about John the Baptist sending messengers to inquire about whether Jesus was the One to come or they should wait for another. It also talks about Jesus’ response to John’s messengers.
John: “are you the one to come or shall we wait for another?” (verse 3).
Jesus: “Go tell John what you hear and see (verse 4).
The second part of Matthew 11 describes what happens to cities (people living in these places) that don’t repent. They experience God’s judgment. See verses 20 through 24.
The last part of this chapter is the text that we’re using to help us continue to learn how prayer can help us listen better.
There are two things you need to do to listen better and through prayer.
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Come to Jesus
Yes, it’s as simple as that. But, the question is “what does that mean for you and me?” Another question is “why come to Jesus?”
Look at verses 25 through 27 for a moment:
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Matthew writes this piece of the chapter, not as a prayer, but a declaration.
When you think of a declaration, what you have in mind is something that’s a done deal. It’s what no one can change. Or, there is need to change it, it will require a dire process to do it.
The declaration is about the following:
1. Jesus’ Father, our Father through faith in Jesus Christ now, is Lord of heaven and earth. What this means is God is the “guy in charge.”
2. Father God reveals the good news to little children. These are people who choose to humble themselves under God’s hands and reign.
3. We know the Father through the Son (Jesus Christ).
4. We know the Father God through the revelation of the Son.
Coming to Jesus is the only thing you need to do if you want to experience God in your life! And, you come to God because God is the guy in charge of everyone and everything.
When you come to Jesus, through prayer, bring everything that troubles you. Read verse 28:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
In this verse, Matthew talks about “all who labor” and all who “are heavy laden.” These two phrases represent anything that wears you out physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Come to Jesus with all that’s energy-draining, and which brings about fatigue in your life.
What do you get out of doing the above?
Take Jesus’ Yoke
It’s light and easy to carry. In other words, when you come to Jesus, there is a trade that takes place.
It’s by doing so that you can find rest for your soul.
I know when you think of rest, what comes to mind is sleep, a renewal leave or vacation. All this is good stuff.
Coming to Jesus and taking Jesus’ yoke helps you experience rest. And, rest will enable you to:
- Shut down all other noises in life.
- Focus on what God wants you to hear.
- Be healthy: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- Be fruitful (successful) as a Christian in all areas of life.
Bringing it together
The bottom line is that the ability to listen to God is a two-step process. First, you come to Jesus as you are. Second, you take upon you the yoke of Jesus (or whatever Jesus has in mind for you). Then, you experience rest for your soul and the ability to listen better to God’s voice in your life.
I want to hear from you. What helps you listen better to God’s voice? Please, share your thoughts in the comment box below.