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          Anyone can tell you that a goodrelationship is built on consistent communication.  Maybe you've experienced this yourself.  Communication does not always involve words,but words can certainly determine the emotional outcome of a conversation.  Proverbs 25:11 says that "words spokenin the right circumstance are like apples of gold in settings ofsilver".  Even the description ofwell-spoken words sounds appealing!

          Good communication also involveslistening.  In fact, listening is perhapsthe more important part of a conversation. I've often encouraged people through the years to develop the art oflistening when they've sought to improve a relationship with someone.  It's tempting to begin formulating a responseto someone before they've finished speaking. But a good listener will wait and then respond.

          Prayer is one of the most intimate wayswe can communicate with our Heavenly Father. A pitfall for many of us is that we tend to make it a laundry list ofrequests rather than the dialogue it is meant to be.  In Matthew 6, Jesus contrasted some of themore ritualistic forms of prayer practiced in His day with the type ofheartfelt prayer that Lord desires from His children.  The culmination of Jesus' teaching is theprayer we call "The Lord's Prayer", but it has been rightly suggestedthat this simple and beautiful prayer is "The Disciple's Prayer".  

          Think about your prayer life thisweek.  How often to you converse withGod?  How deeply?  Do you listen for His response?  Is your prayer life composed of a list ofrequests or do you include other aspects, such as praise and confession, intoyour prayers?  One of the beautifulthings about prayer is that it is profoundly individual.  There is no "one size fits all"formula that everyone must do in order for it to be done right.  I know people who have a quiet time everymorning and prayer for an hour straight. I also know others who pray while they commute, clean the house, or takea walk.  However, or wherever, you pray,take time this week to listen to God's response.  He hears and He answers.


AHL  1/2/2011

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