Quick To Hear and Slow To Speak



As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.  Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God.
~Ecclesiastes 5:1, NLT


Many times our prayers reveal that we believe God needs to hear from us more than we need to hear from Him. Clearly, this is not the case.
~Daniel L. Akin

The blogs come out of my daily bible study and in my study of Ecclesiastes I am using three commentaries: Broadman, Holman and New American. I share this because I know that you know me and I am certainly not qualified to teach anyone how to pray. I say that because at age 68, and after 48 years in the ministry, I don’t know how to pray myself. I went to bed last night with this concern on my mind. I can stay in my little building reading and studying for hours but I seldom pray more than five minutes at a time. You give me a human audience and I can pray for thirty minutes. In a prayer meeting I have to guard against praying too long, in my Q.T. it is the opposite. In other words, I have it reversed. Private prayers should be long and public prayers brief. Just understand that much of what I share in the blog comes from other sources. My insights, which are few, are intermingled and I never tell you what’s what for a reason. Just keep this trade secret in mind as you read.

First of all, it seems odd that we could learn anything from Solomon on the subject of prayer but we can. Inspite of the man’s carnality, God used him in a powerful way which is all the more reason to praise God and not Solomon. When we approach God in prayer, we should do so with a spirit of reverence and awe. In Ecclesiastes 5:7, Solomon said, “Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead.” The Hebrew word translated ‘fear’ is yare’, to stand in awe of, be awed, to fear, reverence, honour, and respect. It is not a cringing fear as a slave before his master but the reverential fear of a creature before his creator, a subject before his king, or the finite before the infinite. This does not mean that our prayer should not be personal and intimate. Solomon is simply teaching us to approach reverently and to think before we speak. Habakkuk had this in mind when he said, “The LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silent before Him.” This same thought is captured in the song, “I Can Only Imagine.”

Surrounded by You glory, What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus, Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence, Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, Will I be able to speak at all?

Personally, I have the feeling that I will not be able to speak at all. The day that June literally ran into Billy Graham {on the steps of the Washington Cathedral} she screamed, I didn’t say a word. Greatness tends to shut me down and have deep respect for Billy Graham.

Just some notes of things to remember when we pray:
  1. We do not reveal anthing to God when we pray: He knows us better than we know ourselves. Our deepest longing should be for Him to reveal Himself to us. Therefore listening in prayer is more important than talking. This is where I am very weak.
  2. Think about what you are asking for: the Israelites rushed into His presence with a rash and selfish request, they asked for meat and God gave them meat but it became loathsome to them. Avoid rash and selfish request: God may answer them just to teach us a lesson.
  3. Don’t make rash vows-don’t say things you do not mean. Once you make a vow to God, He expects you to keep it. We make promises to men but we make vows to God. Vows are sacred. This is what makes marriage a very serious thing: you’re not just making a promise to your mate, you are making a vow to God and it is never good to break a vow. I fear for any man who takes vows lightly.
  4. Words alone are like dreams, they have no substance. David had the right idea in Psalm 51…But you desire honesty from our inward parts...Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me...You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering.  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.  It is the spirit or the heart that communicates effectively with God. Words without the right spirit have no validity.

Another beautiful day yesterday as far as I am concerned: praise the Lord for the sunshine and shirt-sleeve weather. I am helping with the Linderman Service today. Bro. Ronald is doing the main part but I still need prayer. I will also be moderating the business meeting at GRACE POINT tonight. Cousin Karen is doing a little better, PTL. If you have someone on your heart and you have a photo of them: put them on your wallpaper on your phone and every time you use it, you will remember to pray for them. It is a great reminder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *