That it may please thee to give to all people increase of grace to hear and receive thy Word, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
It's been a very hard lesson for me to learn and I'm still struggling with it. I cry out, "Why don't I hear you, Lord? I know you hear me and I know you ARE listening to my cry, but why don't you answer me?" I imagine God, sitting patiently waiting for me to finish my rambling and answer me saying, "Because you never shut up!" It's a hard lesson indeed, trying to be still and silent.
Last summer I went on an eight-day silent retreat. It was absolutely heavenly. What I noticed most was that when all the noise of daily distractions, voices around me, telephones, television, radio, etc. were eliminated, the chatter in my mind was so loud that I wanted to shout, "Shut up!" Once I was finally able to stop the chatter box of my brain, I was able to hear God speaking to me through the silence and stillness. I was able to truly see God's magnificence in creation around me. I found myself being "gifted" the entire time. I know that I am being gifted always, but with stillness of soul and quiet of mind, I was truly able to know God's presence in a most intimate way.
Psalm 116 begins, "I love the Lord because he has heard the voice of my supplication, because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him." Indeed God has been listening and responding in every way. I was just not listening.