When you need to talk, who listens? Do you pick up the phone and call your long-time friend? Do you speak to your spouse or one of your adult children? Maybe you just talk to yourself. We all need someone who listens.
It may sound trite but the best thing Job’s three friends did to comfort him was not speak. When they began to speak they became miserable comforters (Job 16:2).
Few people listen well. We often listen only to speak. There is a simple trick to listening, it is not about you. Listen to hear not to speak. Listen to connect not to command the conversation.
God is the perfect listener. When the Psalmist was distressed he called out for help “evening and morning and at noon” (Psalm 55:17). Those cries did not tire God. The Psalmist was confident, “He hears my voice.”
God listens to the cries of the righteous. “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). We cannot continue in sin and expect God to hear and answer our prayers. The Jews who had turned their faces away from God, lost the listening ear of Jehovah (Isaiah 59:1, 2) But, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their trouble” (Psalm 34:17).
The Psalmist combined praise with prayer. “I cried to him with mouth, and high praise was on my tongue” (Psalm 66:17). When we feel we are drowning in sorrow it may seem almost impossible to offer up praise. But lifting up praise to God helps to lift us out of despair.
Whatever is going on in your life, God cares. He loves you and he will listen. Turn your hearts to him, lift up your voices in praise, and give your requests to God. The Lord will listen.