And he maybe an odd choice to start talking about prayer, but Donald Phillips offers an interesting quote in his book, “The Founding Fathers on Leadership,” where Adams observes, “We are not what we should be. We should labor for the future [rather] than for the present moment (18).” What Samuel Adams was saying about his vision for our nation, can aptly be applied to our own lives, especially as we think about prayer: we are not what we should be.
My understanding of prayer changed when I learned the importance of listening to God, which takes the form of both 1) Observing life and 2) Listening for God’s voice. Consider 1 Kings 19, we find Elijah, the prophet, heard a gentle whisper and that was the voice of God. Jesus reminds us as well the sheep “listen to his voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27. The two main ways God may speak are in circumstances and through the reading of the Bible. This is ACTIVE LISTENING in relating to God.
We have been given an incredible freedom to know God. More and more people are skeptical or feel they need to go off seeking some mountain top experience. But more and more, I have come to learn: God is not silent. We are not listening. You are not who you should be - Jesus gave his life to give us the freedom to boldly approach the Throne of Grace and be changed by that grace. Prayer is central to this change. It is time - start a conversation with God.