How Can We Get Someone To Listen?
- Aug. 13, 2012
- Robert Tamasy
We live in a noisy world. Competition for our attention is endless and relentless: radio, TV, iPods, talk shows with people shouting at each other. Even quiet communications divert our concentration: e-mail, the Internet, text messages. It seems amazing any of us can get work done with so much distraction.
Faced with these obstacles, how can we get someone else’s attention? It is a problem without simple solutions. “Shout louder.” Be rude and interrupt. Do something bold and bizarre. Maybe unplug the person’s computer. Remember “fight fire with fire”? The motto today is “fight noise with noise.”
Given this quandary, when everyone seems to be speaking in one way or another while no one is listening, it is astonishing to be told, even promised, there is a place where we are always heard and never ignored: the heavenly throne of God.
The Bible gives many assurances that the God of the universe hears our prayers individually – and responds. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
In seeking to communicate with God, we are never placed “on hold,” never need to leave a voicemail, and never get a busy signal. That is His promise. And we need not retreat to a church or religious setting; we can talk to God in any place, at any time, about any topic.
Has business taken a sudden, negative turn? Talk to God about it. Are you considering a career change? Ask God what He thinks about it. Are your finances in dire straits? Consult God for help. Do you have an unreasonable boss? Complain to God. Here are some things the Bible says about talking to God:
God hears the prayers of those that follow Him. One requirement for approaching God in prayer is simply being a member of His family, those made right with Him through Jesus Christ. “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…” (1 Peter 3:12).
God hears requests for His wisdom. One thing business and professional people need desperately is wisdom, and God eagerly supplies it when asked. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
God hears the prayers of those that trust in Him. One of the worst things we can do is ask a friend for help, then doubt that he or she will provide it. With God it is the same. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22).
God hears prayers offered with the right motives. One type of prayer God rejects is that which is based on selfish, self-serving motivations. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. Do you ever feel frustrated trying to communicate with others? Does it seem to you that everyone is speaking – trying desperately to convey their message – but no one is really listening? If so, what has that experience been like for you?
2. How do you deal with the “noise” in your own life, the many sources of information in constant competition for your attention? Do you ever feel this hinders your effectiveness at work? How do you deal with it?
3. What does it mean to you personally to have the promise that God – Creator of the universe – is somehow still so personal that He hears all of your prayers, and responds to them? Explain whether that seems true to you.
4. In the workplace we make plans, hold meetings, consult with trusted colleagues. But do you spend much time – if any – praying about your work, your decisions, your needs, or your direction? Why or why not?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 7:7-8; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17