God is putting in our hearts a genuine hunger for a more intimate personal relationship with him, a relationship nurtured through a life of prayer.   He invites us to listen to what he says to us through his Word in Scripture.  As we listen, we become more aware of his loving presence within us.  This awareness and our response is a contemplative prayer posture.  As we pray with Scripture, a transformation takes place within us.  Our personal relationship with the Lord develops, and we acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking.  We develop a new mentality as our minds become conformed to the mind of Christ.

As we listen, God reveals more and more about himself.  We learn that he is a God who knows everything about us.  We discover that he loves us with creative, providential, forgiving, healing, redeeming love.  We must approach our praying with Scripture with the attitude: "What is God saying to me here and now?"  The Fathers of the Vatican Council assured us that "Christ is present in his Word, since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church."  If Christ is present, then he is speaking to us. We in turn must listen quietly in our hearts.

Prayer us a communication with God, and communication is a two-way street.  To have a good communication we must speak, but we must also listen.  That is the key.  We hear a great deal each day, but seldom do we listen.  Furthermore, in communicating, the person who has the most important message should have more time.  Now, in prayer it is quite obvious who has the most important message; therefore, we should spend much more time in listening to God than in speaking to him.  One of the most common difficulties in prayer is that we do most of the speaking and very little listening.

Since prayer is a communication between God and ourselves, and since what God has to say is far more important than what we have to talk over with him, then the first step for prayer is that we learn to listen.   In our eagerness to enter quickly and deeply into prayer we often begin by thanking God for some favor, or telling him about a certain situation, or simply asking him to come and help us do our thing.  We feel that to just sit or kneel and do nothing is a waste of time.  Waiting and listening seems to be so impractical. That is why the psalmist reminds us: "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently on him" (Psalm 37:7).

As long as the focus is on ourselves, we will have difficulties in praying.  Our focus must be on God.  God wants to speak to us.  He wants us to listen in the quiet of our own being, and only then respond in our hearts.

Source: Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.