“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

  The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. – Psalm 46:10-11

Alex and John meet for a coffee after a long time. Over excited, Alex did not stop talking trying to squeeze all that he did in these years in an hour. John listened carefully and when he tried to share, he was immediately stopped by Alex, who continued unceasingly to inundate John with his chattering.

After an hour of ‘bashing’ Alex looked at his watch and told John ‘OH mate thanks for your time, I got to be going as I am running late for an appointment.’ This did not leave John time to salute him as Alex was already in the car on his way to his next destination. Can you imagine how John felt after all this?

With this scenario in mind, think about the time you spend with God. Do you think God feels like John when you are praying? Or is it a true two way communication?

We can here appreciate that ‘dumping requests’ to God is not praying. Effective prayer starts by understanding that The Lord of Lords wants to interact with us during this special, undivided time with Him. While it is great to pray when in the car or when we are doing exercise, there needs to be time when we ‘shut the world’ down and be alone with God. During this time the most challenging part is to listen, however it is the most important time of all the session. Listening to God speak to us, after all we should crave for His advice and wisdom don’t we?

“Be Still and know that I am GOD.” How many times we requested something from God and the following minute we just took back the request in our hand and tried to do it our own way? God is here inviting us to change our ‘credit card’ mentality. While God is well able to give us an instant fix to our issues, we have to understand that His timing is not our timing, however we have the blessed assurance that He is in total control and that He is working out the best for our lives.

I believe it is not a coincidence that silent and listen are composed with the same letters. So let us introduce more listening moments, away from headphones, cell phones or any other distracting things, just God and us. This will make our prayer much more effective as we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into God’s wonderful plan.