Have you been praying for something and your answer seems far off? Could you benefit from some insight into what success in prayer depends on?
Jesus emphasized in Luke 6:6 that, “When you pray, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut the door, pray to the Father who is in secret, and the Father who sees in secret shall recompense thee openly.”
Frances Foulks in her book, Effectual Prayer, gave a beautiful description for this type of prayer and deep listening.
“You have at some time greatly listened. Perhaps you were alone deep in the woods and the crack of a bough startled you causing you to stop; and forgetting all else, what you were doing or where you were going, you listened intent on finding out if there was an unknown presence near you.
Perhaps you were one of a great audience, sitting spellbound under the words of some fluent speaker, utterly unaware of those who were sitting beside you, in your desire to catch every word. Or, perhaps it was in the night when you listened with your whole being for the call of your child who might need you.
Even more absorbed will be your attention, your listening, your stillness, even your alertness, when you have truly entered the silence and are waiting to hear the message from the Creator of your being.”
Can you see that in this deep listening, you are listening for something more than the wisdom of your intellect, as powerful as that may be? Yes, you are listening intently, but for a more subtle response. You are listening for the “still small voice” that is “soundless;” yet it speaks with a clarity beyond any spoken word.
Ms. Foulks goes onto write, “In this stillness of waiting before the Creator, the acorn gathers the strength to become the mighty oak, flowers find their glorious colors and beautiful forms. All things find their “being,” in this silence.”
It is silence that is a condition for success in prayer. You wait in receptive stillness for a word or feeling to be revealed in you as the Spirit of God makes itself known to you in a form you can understand.
As you become more and more still, you are no longer thinking about your needs and desires because your human thought would be way too small (or limited).
You may not hear or consciously comprehend what is revealed in the moment, but you can trust your prayer has been answered. It can be felt as an impulse, an intuitive knowing, a nudge, an inspiration, a sense of peace, or even a hunch.
You then have the free will, to say “yes” to what is revealed “in secret,” and you close your prayer and go about your day.
The difficulty in entering the silence comes in not letting your ego or analytical mind step in and push for a specific outcome. Spirit may reveal a wonderful outcome but; you may not hear it or agree to it because you want to keep pushing for your own idea. You may find yourself saying things like, “Yes God, what you’ve revealed is very nice, but can’t I have this instead?”
Would it make a difference to know when your intellect or ego insists, urges, circumvents, or argues… you can be sure you are not yet in the silence where your highest and best answers reside?
This week I invite you to turn your attention within and allow God’s highest and best choice for you to enter and dominate your thoughts. In this prayerful silence, just allow every thought, every cell and fiber of your being to be filled with God’s presence, and say “yes” inside yourself to whatever is revealed.
You will be accepting the free flow of God in your life; which will ultimately create for you all the good you could ever desire. And this, my friends, is the quickest way to bring success to all your prayers!