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When listening prayer is hard

Get a Free eBook: Do you want to grow closer to God in your prayer times? I’ve written a free guide called The Three Day Listening Prayer Devotional and I’d love for you to download it. Click here to download the free devotional. We have an outdoor cat named Chloe who, in the winter months waits…
By Seth Barnes
Get a Free eBook: Do you want to grow closer to God in your prayer times? I’ve written a free guide called The Three Day Listening Prayer Devotional and I’d love for you to download it. Click here to download the free devotional.
img resizeWe have an outdoor cat named Chloe who, in the winter months waits by the front door and darts inside when I open it in the morning. She then waits for me to sit down on the couch and immediately jumps on my lap and purrs with pleasure. It’s the cold that drives her behavior. When the comfortable temperatures of spring come, she no longer waits at the door. 
 
I’m a lot like Chloe with God. When my life is comfortable I don’t show up as frequently at his front door. But give me a cold season of discomfort where I need consolation and I go looking for the warmth of his presence.
 
It was at the lowest point of my life that I became a candidate to experience his presence through listening prayer. Inside I had declared emotional bankruptcy. I was beyond even looking for him – he went looking for me. And thereafter, in that state of extreme dependence and vulnerability, all I did was keep showing up at his door, hoping to somehow curl up on his lap.
 
What I’ve seen since then is that as my life has become easier, I don’t feel the urgency to listen for his voice. I don’t cock my ear in his direction these days like I used to in my season of bankruptcy. In seasons of warmth my prayers become more like monologues and I begin to drift away, no longer straining for that divine connection. Frankly, I’m in a season of ease at this point in my life. I’m not hearing God as clearly and I’m not straining to be with him as I have in the past.  I know the season will change, but that’s where I’m at.  Can you relate? Do you feel unsettled?
 
I don’t like winter – I’m a warm weather guy. But it’s in those winter months that God gives me the severe mercy of his presence. I don’t like the cold, but I feel best when I’m curled up on his lap.
Get the free devotional: Deepen your intimacy with God as you pray through this three-day devotional on Listening Prayer. Click here to download the devotional.

The Art of Listening Prayer

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