Listening and Loving

By Fred Leist, Lead Pastor

This past Sunday we began our Frequency: Tune in. Hear God. message series focused on the letters from Christ to the seven congregations in Asia Minor (Revelation, chapters 2 & 3). Each of those struggling, persecuted churches heard the risen Christ say, “Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” In the weeks that are before us we’re going to be listening for what the Spirit might be saying to us as a congregation seeking to be faithful followers of Jesus. 


This morning I was reading a devotional that suggested we adopt a prayer style called “The Listening Prayer.” The author offered the following: 


How do you feel when you talk with someone who isn’t listening to you? It can happen with a friend who has his/her own agenda for how a conversation should proceed. Or it can happen when the other person simply doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. 


Now, think about this as it relates to our prayer life. Could it be that the way we talk with God is a one-way conversation dominated by us? Notice the observation of William Barclay in The Plain Man’s Book of Prayers: “Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of making ourselves available to God. It may be that one of our greatest failings in prayer is that we talk too much and listen to little. When prayer is at its highest, we wait in silence for God’s voice to us. Are we talking so much that we can’t hear what God might be saying?”


This Sunday we will look at the letter to the church at Ephesus. They got so busy with Christian work and so proud of their efforts and accomplishments that they failed to listen to God’s voice. As a result, they forgot their primary mission and lost their love and passion for Christ. 


I hope to see you this weekend at the place where we keep love alive by hearing and heeding the tender voice of God in our midst.

Marshall Byler

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