Keller: Listening is great to learn, enjoy conversation

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

At a recent Bible sharing group, the moderator chose “Prayer” as the topic.

I shared that I have a hard time praying and added, “I don’t believe people who say they pray for an hour.”

One of the men in the group said, “Maybe it’s because your prayers are all about you. Praying is only a conversation with God and listening should be at least half of the conversation.”

I’ve never been accused of being a good listener, but many times challenged that I talk too much.

Talking instead of listening has caused me many problems. I have to be reminded that every time I open my mouth, there are consequences, so I should learn to listen more.

Larry King once said, “I remind myself every morning that nothing I say this day will teach me anything, so if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

In Proverbs 17:28, the Bible gives good advice about keeping your mouth shut.

It says, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”  

Many times I have been a fool by talking instead of listening. Proverbs 26:4 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.”

Trying to convince a fool that you’re wiser than him only proves that you’re also a fool and have a problem with pride.

A humble person never has trouble with listening. I don’t remember where I heard this said, but it got my attention.

“God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Let he who has ears to hear, use them.”

Since that meeting about prayer, I’ve asked God to teach me to listen. In his book, “Just Like Jesus,” Max Lucado gives an excellent formula for learning to listen.

He suggested that you pick a regular time and place, an open Bible, and as you search the Scriptures like hidden treasure, have a listening heart.

Since that meeting, I’ve been able to pray for one hour, because I’ve learned how to listen to God as He speaks to me.


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