Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19

Lord Jesus, if life in relationship with you is to be lived “at the pace of grace,” then this verse helps us understand what the pace of your grace looks like. By anatomical design, our listening should be 100% greater than our speaking since you’ve given us two ears and one mouth.

On this April Wednesday, may good listening translate into, first and foremost, listening to everything you have to say to us about yourself, the riches of the Gospel, your love for us, and our need of you. From there, help us to…

Offer the gift of engaged unrushed presence

Stay curious and assume the best of others

Ask more questions than we assume answers

Resist putting our meaning on other people’s words

Repeat back what we hear for clarification and connection

Hear with our eyes and hearts, not just our ears

Listen as grace-dispensers, not prosecuting attorneys

If we seek to do these things well, the “slow to get angry” part will come a lot easier to us. But Jesus, you know our “anger issues” better than anyone. Help us process with you …

The irritability and edginess we’re currently carrying

The reasons why we get easily triggered these days

What (or who) our angry feelings are really connected to

Thank you, Lord Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your kind and powerful name.