Recently we recorded a podcast about how listening in prayer is an investment. I know that my listening to God through prayer is an investment of my time to be with Him. This honors Him. My actions state, “In YOU, I trust!” During these times of listening, I’m banking things, like a spiritual investment that will pay future dividends. The return may come in hours, days, or years, but regardless I am listening to hear God’s voice. It is His to speak, and speak He will.
Often, I go into prayer not expecting an immediate answer. If I am just seeking God in prayer, I am making myself available more than anything. I am waiting, which brings Him pleasure. Now, if I had a pressing issue that needed an immediate answer, I might press in because of the circumstance. But mostly I come prepared to wait and listen. It’s like I am an attendant of the King, there for the King’s pleasure. If He wants to speak, I am ready to hear and obey.
‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Listening Prayer and Rejection
Early in my walk with Christ, I would go and often become discouraged if I didn’t hear Him. Yet now it is quite different. I think the real difference is that I don’t have that sense of rejection if He doesn’t speak to me in the moments of waiting. What I have learned is that even if I don’t hear His voice immediately, He will eventually speak in His timing.
The investment of time is a surrender of my heart and a yielding of my life. I sow in faith that my Sovereign God will speak to me when the timing is right. There are so many factors that come to play here. Maybe He is preparing my heart. Perhaps He is working circumstances together to bring me to the answer. Or possibly He just wants my faith-filled anticipation to build as I wait for Him. Truly, so much could be happening behind the scenes in the heavens.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
An Example of the Investment
To give you an example of this process, the other day I was praying with Martha over a question we had, and we just sat there listening for answer. I think we sat there for a few hours. And the Lord didn’t directly speak anything in that time. So, when we felt the time of listening was over, we went on our way. Yet the next day I had an answer in a flash. I heard His voice while I was living my life.
Yes, I got the answer I was looking for on the previous day. I have learned that the answer may not always come that next day or even in the future, because it may come immediately. The key to this is that it is His to answer and mine to wait. Regardless of the timing, I know that the Lord will eventually speak and I will be His eager listener.
And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.
1 John 5:15
What’s the Motivation
So what motivates this stance? What is the reason I am willing to make an investment of listening in prayer? Well, it is love! Love is the reason I surrender and yield. I love Him and desire for my life and doing to be from Him and in Him. My waiting to hear is mostly a love investment.
When we love someone, we look to be with them and give them time. It doesn’t even have to be expressed during activities or events, it may just be sitting quietly with them alone. The long and short of it is, we reveal what we love through how we invest our time.
This whole revelation is liberating. Not only does it liberate me from false expectations, but it also releases God to sovereignly move as He wills in my life. Rather than wrestling with and resisting His Will, I come into the reality of resting. My prayer investment will reap a spiritual harvest and my availability makes me ready to receive. So dear reader, let’s go listen and partake of the most fruitful investment known to man—the Life and Will of Christ.
Faith, then, is birthed in a heart that responds to God’s anointed utterance of the Anointed One.
Romans 10:17 TPT