Have you ever gotten so busy that you felt you didn’t even have time to breathe? Most of us have experienced situations in which we took on so many projects and “to-do” lists that we became overloaded. This can increase our stress levels until we get snappish and irritable, but this isn’t the kind of life God wants for us. At times when we’re speeding along but not knowing where we’re going, slowing down and listening for His directions helps tremendously.
We’ve all seen people who always are on the go, constantly getting caught up in busy work that seems to have no purpose. We may have tried it and ended up overwhelmed and frustrated. We can allow ourselves to get bombarded with requests to do something or go somewhere, but it’s okay to say “no” sometimes. Pausing when we need to gives us a chance to refocus on the big picture. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world” (Psalm 46:10, NLT).
In our frantic world, being still is almost a lost art. There’s nothing wrong with being productive, but taking it to the extreme can backfire on us. We have a tendency to get wrapped up in what we’re doing at the moment, forget about everything else, and then wonder why we’re not seeing the results we want. No matter how hard we try, there are some things only God can do. “…For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9).
We mustn’t forget about God. When we take the time to go to Him in prayer to ask for guidance, He will answer. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3). God is always speaking to us, but few people hear Him because their minds aren’t tuned in to hear from Him. Just like locking onto a radio frequency, we must screen out all distractions and listen to what He says.
There’s only one God, and there’s no duplicating Him. When we’re stuck in something and can’t pinpoint the problem, we should admit that we need Him to be truly successful. Prayer is a two-way conversation. Presenting our requests to Him and then waiting for His response—instead of directing a one-way monologue toward Him—gives us the direction we need. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
People who don’t know God may think He’s out to punish them for their past mistakes and shortcomings. Nothing could be further from the truth. A wrong impression of His nature may be the reason we’re afraid to open a dialogue with Him. God has plenty to say to us, and it’s all good. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:11, 12, NKJV).
God loves to hear from us on a regular basis. Keeping in constant contact with Him makes a huge difference for the better. He welcomes our prayers, and He’s always listening. For more on prayer, click on the link below for the two-DVD series, The Purpose and Essence of Prayer.