This summer I received a pair of air pods for Mother’s Day so that I could walk without the cord getting in my way. I was forever having to untangle the mess my earphones were getting into because I kept them in a pocket inside my bag rather than rolled up neatly in a case. They were close so I could just grab them when I needed them, but it took a bit to get them straightened out for use. A few times I would try and stick one in my ear and get started with the intentions of unraveling the mess as I went. What I quickly discovered was the challenge to walk, unravel and listen simultaneously. I can attest that my attention skills and coordination do not go hand in hand. So, I certainly did not hear the beginning of the book or song I was planning to listen to during my walk.
My prayer life has often followed this jumbled pattern as well. I sit with the intentions of hearing what God has for me. I can’t get comfortable, my coffee is too hot, my phone lights up, I drop my pencil and somewhere in all of this, despite my intentions, I miss His words. I’m not ready to hear and my focus is entangled like the cords in my hand.
I have learned that God speaks at different times in different ways. But I can be prepared to hear when He does. An open heart that is not absorbed in gossip or social media is better prepped. A soul that is eager to draw near the Lord is more attentive. A mind that knows His words are more valuable than likes or retweets is focused to grasp His message. Yes, we can come to Him in prayer in any state, at any time. Yet, as our prayer life matures, we can approach conversations with our Father with intention to not only ask for those items and people on our lists but predisposed to truly listen and take in the message He has for us.
1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.