“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).
mom used to say, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen
twice as much as we talk.” The older I get, the more I realize I need
to put these wise words into practice. I’m often guilty of half
listening and double talking, and that bad habit even spills into my
relationship with God, the Father. When I get tangled up in my plans or
worries, my prayer is more like, “Listen, Lord, your servant is
speaking,” instead of the other way around.
When we face
frustration and disappointment, it seems like God isn’t listening. And
in the middle of struggle and strife, we feel abandoned and ignored by
the Father. The good news is that as we grow in discipleship, we learn
that the opposite is true. The Father speaks to His children all the
time, but He doesn’t speak the language of the world. He doesn’t speak
about position, pride, possession or prestige like the world does. He
speaks love, peace and mercy. In an attempt to help us slow down and
focus on His infinite love, He often whispers, and unless we’re familiar
with the sound of His voice, we will miss His words.
God has a
perfect plan for each of us, and He reveals that plan one little piece
at a time. If we begin each new day inviting Jesus into our schedules,
our friendships, our parenting, our marriages, our jobs and our very
lives, He will make our path clear. If we embrace the role of listening
servant and trust in His wisdom and love instead of trying to do His job
with our own planning and organizing, we will find His way is always
better and the path filled with His grace.
Pray every day:
Spend some time each day praising God and thanking Him for his guidance
and direction. Pay special attention to those things that just seemed
to “fall into place,” and recognize them as God’s loving touch to your
Study the faith: Read something about
prayer. Read an article or a book, watch a video or listen to a podcast
and learn something to help you be still and listen to the Father’s
Engage in parish life: Find one new prayer
activity to participate in at your parish. Join a Rosary or Divine
Mercy Chaplet prayer group, attend Eucharistic Adoration, participate in
a Bible Study or attend daily Mass.
Serve others’ needs:
One of the disciplines of Lent is fasting. Does your parish participate
in Operation Rice Bowl? Your fasting can be combined with almsgiving to
make a difference to brothers and sisters in need.
SHERI WOHLFERT is a Catholic School teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries.