Prayer Notes #6–Choosing to Hear
My Lord, how you work in faithful purposefulness! You give me a heart that is able to listen. You intentionally choose to place me where I can be of use. Though, all too often I fail to pay attention. The failure is in my attentiveness, my alertness, not in the clarity of your voice. You speak to me, but usually I am giving my rapt attention to my own voice.
I wonder, Lord, is spiritual “hearing” a voluntary act rather than a passive reality? Lord, I cannot choose whether I can hear a sound in the natural sense. My ears are wonderfully made. I can hear the sound of the cars and trucks whooshing past on the street outside my window. I don’t decide to hear them or not hear them. They make a sound by disturbing the air. The air vibrates. The vibrations impact against my ear drums, which vibrate in turn and transmit those vibrations very accurately through the astonishing mechanism of my ear structures. From there the vibrations are converted into nerve impulses, which then travel along the nerve pathways to the right part of my brain. There my normal and very ordinary brain does its extraordinary work of interpreting those nerve impulses, correctly, as sounds and then as the sounds of cars and trucks passing on the street outside my window. Lord, I know that I can choose to pay attention to those sounds or to ignore them. But I can’t choose not to hear them.
But, Lord, I sense that, in the realm of the spirit, I can exercise much more autonomy over what I perceive. Is that what Paul means by our minds being “darkened”? (Romans 1:21) Is that what Jesus is referring to when he says, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear”? (Matthew 11:15, & many other places).
I want you to give me ears in the spirit to hear you with. Not ears in the flesh. I am all together too attentive to the things of the flesh that draw my attention with a laser-like focus. No, Lord, I want to hear you. I want to be made intensely sensitive to the merest whisper of a sound from you just like those vigilant little cottontail rabbits that sometimes sit in my yard nibbling clover and searching out anything that will feed their sizzling metabolism. Their ears twitch and turn at every little sound. Nothing seems to pass their notice. I want to be like that with every brush and rustle of your moving, with every murmur and sigh of your speaking. Let them all come to my notice. Let them all reach my listening spirit that I might move with you in everything.
© 2010 Gary A. Chorpenning