“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.” Ecclesiastes 5:1–3
Often when I pray to God I find myself going on and on about lots of stuff. Sometimes I’m even repeating or rephrasing things that I just prayed about. It’s as if I’m trying to get my point across before the connection with God is closed.
As if “Amen” is me hanging up the phone.
Sometimes when I’m done praying, I’ll quickly move on to something else instead of waiting and allowing God into the conversation. Solomon reminds us that we need to “keep your ears open and your mouth shut” (Ecc. 5:1, NLT) when talking to God.
Or as another famous “theologian,” Vanilla Ice, put it: “Stop, collaborate”—I’m assuming with the Holy Spirit—“and listen.”
It’s easy for us to get caught up in our own little world, focused on our problems and needs. When we pray, we need to take a moment to try and see things from God’s perspective, “for God is in heaven and you are on earth.”
We can only see so much around us. We get caught up in what we know. But God is above us, looking down, and he knows and can see everything, including what’s to come, for his own hand “laid the foundations of the earth.” We have a very limited, personal perspective—God has an eternal one.
After you pray, stop and let him talk. You don’t need long, magical prayers. Just get to the point and then hear what God wants you to hear. Stop and listen. Stand in awe of him and his vast knowledge and power.
Rather than always telling God what we need and want, wasting our time dreaming up things fueled by our own desires, listen for him to tell you what you need and what he wants.