Contemplative prayer is essentially listening prayer. While we may not hear actual words, it is being aware of God’s presence and His indwelling. Some of us might have difficulty drawing near to God because we perceive Him more as an angry judge than a loving Father, and constantly feel that we are in the courtroom rather than in the living room with the Father. Therefore, we might want to start with words like “My Heavenly Father, I am here to meet you again and am thankful that I have the privilege of seeking your face daily.” When we address God as our Heavenly Father, it immediately creates that closeness and intimacy between the Father and His child. It is a place of comfort, unconditional love, acceptance, grace, mercy and rest. This utterance is just a drawing near and a decision to be in His presence.
We need to train ourselves to listen. Many of us seek to be heard rather than to take time to listen to others, and this is the major cause of relationship breakdowns because we are not listening to the other person. Likewise, we need to take time to listen to God rather than just tell Him what we want from Him.
God spoke to His servants in the Old Testament, such as Moses, Joshua, Abraham, David, Noah…and He will continue to speak to us in the New Testament as His children. In fact, it has been made easier since the veil in the temple has been torn from top to bottom so all of us are able to behold His face and holiness through the blood of Jesus Christ. What we need to remember is that we are approaching Him based on who we are in Christ, and we are positioning ourselves to hear Him, to be led by Him and corrected by Him. What a privilege we have as God’s children to be able to come into His presence any time of the day!
Sermon Series: From the Closet to the Board Room (Part 1) – Listening to God
我们若亲近神，神就必亲近我们， 这是主所赐的保证和应许。事实上，主渴望与我们有交通，并愿意我们时刻连于祂，就像枝子连于葡萄树一样。当我们安静在主前，寻求祂的荣面并敞开心来领受祂的爱，我们灵里便会有安宁，且能单纯地意识到神的同在。当我们向神坦裎灵魂深处时, 神将与正真的我们相遇。
沉思的祷告实质上就是聆听的祷告。虽然我们可能没听见神正真的说话声，但却能意识到神的同在并感受到祂住在我们里面。我们很多人可能会觉得很难接近神，因为我们总把神视为一位忿怒的审判官，而不是一位慈爱的天父，并一直觉得我们是在法庭上而不是和父亲一同在客厅/家里。因此，我们可以试着以这样的词做开头， “ 我的天父，我今又来与祢相遇，感谢祢使我蒙恩，让我每天都能寻求祢的荣面。“ 当我们称呼上帝为我们的天父时，即刻间就产生了父亲和孩子之间的那种亲昵和亲密感。这是一个有安慰，无条件的爱，接纳，恩典，怜悯 与安息的地方。这表达的是一种亲近，一个进入神的同在的决定。
在旧约中神对祂的仆人说话，如 摩西，约书亚，亚伯拉罕，大卫，诺亚，。。。等，在新约中神会继续对我们 — 祂的儿女说话。事实上，神对我们说话变得更为容易了，因为圣殿里的幔子从上到下已裂为两半，使我们都可以藉着耶稣基督的宝血，瞻仰神的荣美与圣洁。我们且要谨记，我们是凭在基督里的身份来到神面前，定位自己来聆听神，蒙神引导并蒙神归正。作为神的儿女，我们能随时随刻来到神的面前，这是何等的荣幸啊！