A Prayer to Listen and Ask Questions
By Melissa Spoelstra
“Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5, NLT).
While Jesus was quite vocal when teaching God's Word at different times, He often asked questions and listened as much as He talked. Something stood out to me about Jesus's words in John 8 regarding the woman caught in adultery. He didn't use many. He wrote in the sand (boy I would like to know what He wrote!), and then He made one statement, "He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Finally, He asked the woman a question, "Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?" Then He made one simple statement that carried a lot of teaching in it, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
As I read through Scripture, I find Jesus asking questions a lot. He is the God of the universe who knows everything, and yet He asked things like:
· Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Matthew 6:27
· Do you believe I can do this? Matthew 9:28
· Why did you doubt? Matthew 14:31
· But who do you say that I am? Matthew 16:15
· Did you never read the Scriptures? Matthew 21:42
These are just a few recorded in Matthew's gospel of the hundreds of questions Jesus asked over His three-year ministry span.
Asking questions brings us closer in relationship and helps us discover truths that sink deeper when we come to them on our own.
Here are some questions I'm going to try to implement with others in the next few weeks:
· Of all that you've told me, which part is the most important for me to understand?
· Why do you think that happened?
· How would you like to be treated in that situation?
We can learn from Jesus about asking more questions and using fewer words. Not only is this helpful in our families but in our workplaces, communities, and churches as well. This week I'm going to ask God for a greater awareness in all my relationships to ask good questions, listen more, and see what positive changes He might bring. I hope you'll join me.
Dear Lord, I want to learn to listen more than I speak. Show me how to interact with others in a way that helps them dig deep to find wisdom. Reveal to me when I am talking too much and need to ask questions instead. I’m grateful that I can bring all my questions to You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Girlfriends in God devotional, “Questions,” written by Melissa Spoelstra. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.
Originally published Thursday, 15 November 2018.