When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying…

Matthew 5.1-2 (NASB95)

Lord Jesus, I wish I could have heard you preach. I wish I could have followed you on foot in the villages and in the countryside, in public and in private. I wish I could have sat at your feet as did your disciples when you were here.

Lord, I’ve wondered how you sounded when you spoke. Did you speak loudly or softly? Were you animated or calm? Was your tone forceful and assertive, or was it quiet and assuring? Had I been there, would your voice have startled or frightened me? Would it have repelled me? Or would it have drawn me to you and made me desire an endless relationship with you?

Dear Lord, although I wasn’t there in your presence, I hear your voice in the pages of Scripture. I’m so thankful that your Holy Spirit preserved your sermons, sayings, parables, and conversations. When I read them, I picture you in my mind’s eye, and I imagine that I’m there. I read these words of yours and I’m challenged by their depth, inspired by their loftiness, encouraged by their kindness, and humbled by their truth. 

You challenged your audiences to have ears to hear, and that same challenge is for me as well. Dear Jesus, I’m not a good listener. When I read your words in Scripture my mind wanders. When I try to hear your voice in those words I’m distracted by the competing voices and noises in the world around me. As I ponder your teachings, I often get lost in my own thoughts. 

O Teacher, help me listen! Help me filter out the noise. Help me concentrate so intently upon you that nothing else can appeal to me. Let me comprehend the truthfulness, beauty, clarity, practicality, and depth of your matchless words. Let me hear you and you alone.

Jesus, my Lord and my God, grant me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand. Draw me nearer to you for your name’s sake, amen.