Do you understand the theory of active listening?
Basically the idea applies to how you listen to someone else. Preferably another human, I am not sure household pets count. What you do is actively listen to what the person is saying. You do not sit and stare blankly at the speaker but you acknowledge what they are saying with head nods, affirmative gestures and reassuring statements. Often you even may verbally reiterate what the speaker says to you.
Here is a scene set up to demonstrate what I mean by active listening:
Bobo says to Gumby, “Gumby, I cannot believe how dumb my teacher is!!! He doesn’t know anything. How dare he give my a C+ on my Social Studies Project!!!!”
(Bobo then presents a very sketchy macaroni sculpture resembling something a baby would throw up that was entitled “George Washington”)
Gumby stifles his laughter and retorts, “So Bobo, you are telling me that you are frustrated and angry at your teacher because you do not believe your project received the grade it deserved.”
Bobo smiled and nodded…END SCENE
That there was a horrible but hopefully effective example of what I am referring to when I say active listening. Now hold on to that image because I am about to go on a bit of a long-winded rant.
I had a thought, a yearning, and desire placed on my heart late last week. The idea was simply…Active Praying. “Placed on my heart”…I love being cliche’. What I mean is that with some events that occurred the idea kind of smacked me in the face, hard.
But what does Active Praying even mean? What am I implying? Right off the bat I am not sure it is a subject that can be totally comprehended because it has to do with talking with and understanding God.
That’s right, I am pursuing a conversation with God. An absolutely unmistakable conversation with the one and only God. I do not want to pray AT Him or talk AT Him. I NEED to hear Him. I NEED to be heard. Its a small fire now but I need to start heaping on wood to get this fire blazing.
So far the best way I have been able to explain this idea is by comparing it to reflection. If you have ever reflected upon yourself and on life and all its trials then you may have a taste of what I am trying to explain. One way I see actively praying is by reflecting with God. Not just thinking about the past but out loud breaking down the past with God.
I am talking about calling out to God and telling Him about the times where you were broken, the times where you felt abandoned, empty and alone. Do not stop there though. Tell God about the times you felt Him near, talk about how you felt loved and empowered. Talk all about your life. Then talk about what you are currently going through. Finally talk about the future. Bring up your aspirations and dreams…especially those that you feel God has placed on you.
Do this out loud. Just don’t do it while driving unless you can pay attention to your speed limit, trust me.
Christ has made life with God a relationship. Just like any other human relationship you have to foster it and put work into it…communication is always key, ask any couple that has been to counseling.
The important thing about Active Praying is being intentional about it. I am finding more and more that this is a subject that I cannot alone comprehend but the pursuit of understanding it is almost the same as actually participating in it. Live an Active Life.
Praying out loud is not the only way to do this. That is just one idea. You need to search it out for yourself. I am not pretentious enough to think that I can stimulate God talking to me but I am still going to pursue Him. I want Him to know that I want Him. That I need Him.
Life is too short to wonder if God is hearing me. I am going to continue to work at this idea of Active Praying. As for now it is still a loose thought that I cannot fit my hands around. But then again no one can fit their hands around God so why would I expect anything else.