When’s the last time you’ve taken a moment to quiet the busyness of life? Goals and deadlines can consume you. The tight scheduling of appointments and events can keep your mind zooming speedily like a race car on a racetrack. Imagine that scenario for a second. The roaring of motors and squealing of tires, as well as the cheering of the crowds would make it difficult to hear what the person right next to you is saying, right? They would have to put in a lot of extra effort to make sure they were loud enough to be heard. And you would have to put in extra effort to hear them. In the same way, when there is so much noise going on around you, the ability to hear what God is saying becomes difficult as well. He may be trying to talk to you, but your mind is going ninety to nothing on the busy racetrack of life. I can personally tell when this is starting to happen in my life because I’ll start to get a sense of unsettledness in my spirit. Something just seems “off.” Does that ever happen to you? It’s in these moments that you have to intentionally take the time to spend alone with God.
Turn Off the Noise
The first thing you have to do, is mentally (and literally), turn off the noise. Turn off the TV and music so that you remove all distractions. Quiet your senses so that your mind can focus on hearing God’s voice. It is usually heard in the form of a thought, or an impression. Sometimes you might feel lead to read a certain scripture verse in the bible. The point is to be still so that you know Him (Psalm 46:10).
Find a Peaceful Place
Your peaceful place might be on your couch with a blanket or a rocking chair on a porch. Or, you may find it helpful to leave your house altogether. Go somewhere with a beautiful view. Surrounding yourself with nature, God’s creation, almost automatically has a tranquil effect that pacifies anxious thoughts and emotions. I truly believe this is because nature’s focus is always on the creator. Isaiah 55:12 states, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” In Psalm 19 we’re told that even the heavens “declare the glory of God.” So, if there’s to be any sound, let it be the peace generating sound of nature praising its creator in your midst!
Prayer is simply communication with God. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says, “Pray to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” What an awesome promise! Just as you communicate with friends and family members with an expectation for a response, you can communicate with God with the same expectation. It’s not meant to be a one-way conversation. So after you remove all the distractions, pray about your desire to hear from Him. Then listen expectantly for His response.
Slowing down and taking a moment to spend quiet time with God will always leave you feeling replenished and more in tune with Him. And with practice, it gets easier to keep yourself from speeding down another racetrack for too long. Remember, even the world's fastest race car drivers need to make pit stops!