Psalm 116: 1-2
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
Both verses make it clear. Because God heard me, therefore I love him. Cause and effect.
Love and trust grow between two people when they genuinely hear one another.
God Hears Us
When I feel that God is far away from me, that’s when I know I need to pour out my heart to Him. One time when I was going through a particularly difficult situation, I dedicated every evening to Him. I gave away my T.V. and spent every evening reading scripture and praying. Sometimes hours would go by when it felt like only a few minutes. Did God immediately solve all my problems? No. But I did feel His presence in powerful ways! I cried out to Him in pain for 18 months. Then He blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.
When you are in desperate straits, pour it all on God. He wants to hear it.
Speak to Him in the silence of the night.
Cry out to Him throughout the day.
Pray while you take a fast walk through a park or go for a hike. The added exercise will combine with your prayers and amazing things will happen.
We Must Hear Others
Love and trust grow between spouses when they genuinely hear one another. Listening to our spouses shows that we love them and that they are important to us. When our spouses feel that love, their love for us will also grow.
Friends also need our undivided attention. Our lives have become overfull of activities and social media which means little time is left for deep friendships. God created us for relationships with other people, face to face relationships. Texting is convenient but it will never replace loving someone enough to sit down and look them in the eye and say, “I am here for you.”
Listening is not an easy thing to do. Lynda D. Elliott, in her book The Counsel of a Friend, said, “Listening may appear easy or even passive, but really ‘hearing’ another person may be the hardest work you will do.”
How to Listen:
- Pray first – Ask God to help you truly hear that other person.
- Focus on them – Set aside your own thoughts and judgements.
- Watch – Look for body language that reflects their thoughts and feelings.
- Notice – Take note of their feelings. Are they feeling angry, sad, guilty, frustrated, hopeless or something else?
Listen beyond their words. What is in their heart? Don’t try to “fix” them or their problem. If they want advice, they will ask for it. Till then just listen. Just love.