How long do you sit and wait for God to speak to you?
There are several answers to this question. It depends on...
- how soon I need the answer
- how much time I have that day to pray and listen
If I have to make a decision in one week, then I might spend ten to fifteen minutes each day listening for God's answer. The closer I get to my deadline the more time I might spend waiting on God to respond. God knows our deadlines. It is important not to panic and fret. That is sometimes easier said than done. We are all prone to worrying, but over time as you build a track record of listening and hearing God's answers, you will fret less because you know you can trust God to guide you in His timing.
Some days I have more leeway than others to sit and listen, so on those days I may spend additional time seeking God's presence and asking for His wisdom. Through experience I have learned that I do not always receive an answer when I am sitting and waiting on God. The answer may come later on in the day. God often provides the answer to my question when I am driving or doing something routine. It is at those times that I am not thinking about the problem that God will give me the solution.
Many times my prayer sounds like this: "God, I don't have a clue what to do. But I know You have the answer. Please release a spirit of wisdom and revelation to me concerning ______." My not having a clue motivates me to spend more time with the Lord, because I know that His solution will be far better than my own.
Take away points:
Hide your watch! Try to arrange your prayer time when you will not be worried about the time. It is very hard to concentrate on hearing from God if you are worried about the clock or the next thing on your to-do list. I usually read the Bible before breakfast but save my questions for God for later in the day when I can carve out more time to listen and be relaxed.
Prayer is not a formula. The more you develop a close relationship with God simply for the sake of being in His presence and reading His Word, the more time you will want to spend with Him and the more you will hear Him. The primary focus needs to be on a personal relationship with the Lord of your life. In a friendship each person opens up more as trust develops. It is the same with God. He wants to know you care about your relationship with Him more than you want quick answers to your questions. He is worth waiting for and He longs to speak to you.
Avoid getting angry if God seems silent. I used to get frustrated and yes, at times, angry when I wanted an answer right away and God seemed to have disappeared. There are many reasons for silence (another blog topic). God is faithful and trustworthy. Remember to thank Him even when you have not received an answer yet.