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Listening Prayer

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By Gaby (Guest Blogger)

I delighted in John’s writing’s on prayer and felt nudged to share a bit on my own prayer adventure.

In a comment to “Speaking God’s Word in His Ear,” Pauline mentions the values of the Mercy House of Prayer in Vienna. Well, I stumbled into that prayer house in December 2011, and in the three weeks I shared with Vicki Harris before she left, I came to know exactly this: listening prayer. I mean truly LISTENING, at the very moment! No prayer-list to bring with you. This was new to me and it was fascinating – Holy even!

For almost 30 years, I had completely ignored that there was a Will greater than mine whom I was called to respect. I had “thrown prayers at Him,” as Martha puts it somewhere, like you would throw balls at a target button, hoping to hit it and make a gift fall out.

So now I had to listen. Evidently I needed Him! What happens when you need Him? You get to know Him. By knowing Him more closely, you start to love Him… So after a short period, instead of intercession I began to break into worship, slowly beginning to understand that it was all about Him—not me, not us, and not even about our needs. He knows it all anyway, so I could simply thank Him in advance…

My musicians left to play for other prayer meetings, bigger groups or other things, so I found myself often with very few people or completely alone. This was the time when I learned about silence. I sat before Him, staring at Him.

Psalm 32:8 (“I will counsel you with My eyes upon you.”) reads in Martin Luther’s German: “I will lead you by My eyes!” How could you be led by His eyes if you weren’t looking into His face?

A French brotherhood, which I cherish, expresses it beautifully:

“The road to contemplation is not one of achieving inner silence at all costs by following some technique that creates a kind of emptiness within. If, instead, with a childlike trust we let Christ pray silently within us, then one day we shall discover that the depths of our being are inhabited by a Presence.”

And nowadays? I don’t really know! Is it worship, intercession, listening, talking, looking? Is it none of them? Or all?

Maybe this: I come with my trust and I hold this trust before Him as a sort of sacrifice, and I ask Him to take it and use it and do with it as He pleases. And that’s what He truly does. More, He fulfills this surrendered trust in ways I could never have dreamt.

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