Have you ever had a friend that tended to do the majority of the talking? They might call on the phone, all excited about the latest events, chatter on for a while, and then hang up? We can all remember times when this has happened to us. Have you ever stopped to wonder how God must feel when we pray? Chatter, chatter, chatter…hang up!

We come to God with our cares, concerns, requests, and needs--sometimes we stop to say a word of gratitude, but how often do we take the time to be still and listen for an answer? I have a hunch that God is interested in having a conversation with us. We ask for answers and when an answer is forthcoming, we short-circuit the whole process and say, “Oops! Sorry! Have to run!”

Meditation is the act of listening. It is being still. Scripture reminds us that God is in the still small voice. To hear the Spirit’s voice, we need improved hearing. The voice is very quiet and can only be heard when the mind and heart are completely still. The noise of our own thoughts can drown out the voice of God.

Like any other thing we have to learn in life, meditation takes practice. It takes time to sit quietly and not fidget and have a laundry list of things you need to do running through your head. Sometimes when you finally do get quiet, you’ll fall asleep. This is a really good indication that your spiritual batteries are on low and some daily attention to meditating would charge them back up.

You can begin your meditation by getting into a comfortable position with your spine straight. This could include sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor, sitting on the floor on a pillow, or lying on your back. You can see why having a sacred space, a designated spot to converse with God would be helpful. It helps to focus your mind and energy on sacred things.

You can begin by breathing in and breathing out. With each breath, ask for the Spirit to flow into you and out into the world. There are many visualized meditations that you can do that help to facilitate being quiet and I will share some of my favorite ones at some point. To begin with you just want to be still and practice “no thought”.

When thoughts do come into your mind, just quietly thank them and send them away. Just continue to do this and concentrate on your breathing. Eventually, you will begin to distinguish God's thoughts and plans for you apart from the noise of your own thoughts.

There is a wonderful story of the young boy Samuel in the Bible that talks about his experiences learning to hear God’s voice. He kept jumping up and running in to talk to his teacher, Eli. The priest finally realized that God was speaking to the young child, so gave him the wise instructions to respond with a simple, “Speak, for your servant hears”.

I find that this is a beautiful prayer to whisper in my meditations as I keep my mind quiet. Jesus is quoted in the Gospels several times saying, “He who has ears, let him hear!” That is another one of my prayers, “God, please give me ears that hear your voice.”

Don’t become discouraged if this is difficult at first. Begin by spending five minutes in quiet. If you are not used to being still, it will seem like an eternity. Eventually, it will become the highlight of your day--the opportunity to just sit and Be with God, for that’s what meditation is really all about.

Take time today to enjoy Being in God’s presence. He/She has an awful lot of wonderful things to share with you.