I have the unique privilege of often arriving to work in the early morning, before the majority of people have begun their morning routines.
As I pull onto the mile-long road that leads to the parking area, I try to remember our “Pray In and Pray Out” practice, and therefore, turn off the radio that was playing in my car and instead, seek God in prayer for the day ahead and for the guests and staff that will be with us.
So often in prayer, there is only one voice I'm hearing – my own. And while I know He is listening, my desire is to hear Him – to know what He would say, because I already know what my own words will be.
Recently at a church service, our Pastor had us all engage in conversations with each other. Not yelling or shouting, simply talking to each other. While we were doing this, he had turned off his microphone and was talking to us. He was speaking truths that God longs for us to hear Him express every day.
While the Pastor spoke God's love to us the entire time we were talking to each other, no one heard him. We had too much noise around us to be able to hear. By surrounding ourselves with noise, we were choosing not to listen.
He told us that God is constantly speaking to us and challenged us to examine the “noise” in our lives that was louder than God's loving message.
My “Pray-In” practice has changed since that message. Now, most mornings, I arrive on property, open the car windows, and ask God to prepare me for the day ahead. I then find myself breathing deeply, as if trying to absorb every opportunity to allow Him to speak to me.
And He does!
My heart feels a peace that I can't explain. The “to-do” list that had been forming in my mind is suddenly not a concern. I hear the birds singing their beautiful melodies. The wind, often as a breeze, embraces every sense as I feel, hear, smell, and even taste the nature on it as I watch it move the trees.
In this time – I'm experiencing God. I am having an encounter with Him in a real way. And while He has been there every morning – I'm finally choosing to be there with Him in the moment. I no longer hear my voice in prayer, but His voice in my heart.
As I shared, I am blessed to be able to have this quiet time as part of my day so often. It's one mile – 3 minutes of time – and yet, choosing to listen has made such a difference in my day. I encourage you to find that 1 mile stretch and take that time to remove yourself from the noise and hear what He is saying to your heart.
A song based on Amos 4:13 prays: “Majestic One, who formed the mountains. So powerful, He who creates the wind. The Great I Am You turn the dawn to darkness. The reigning King, You tread the high places of the earth. Creation cries it out, You're God Almighty. So infinite the mighty works I see. And You reveal Your thoughts to man. Reveal them now to me.”
Let that be your prayer today to listen as God Almighty desperately longs to reveal His thoughts to you.