Be Slow to Speak and Quick to Listen
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; James 1:19
When you read James 1:19, the typical application is to use this principle in situations with people such as your spouse, boss, friend, etc.. First be swift to hear what the other person has to say, then be slow to speak. Proverbs 17:27-28 is in line with this. “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” You will be thought of as wise and perceptive if you guard your mouth to say only what the Lord directs you to say. However, James 1:19 should also be applied in one other place, your prayer life.
Do not run to your prayer closet and unload everything that you want to say. Then get up and leave. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Your prayers are like a phone call to God with Jesus as the Operator. If you do not sit before the Lord and be slow to speak and quick to listen, you are really just leaving the Lord a voicemail. Jeremiah 33:3 says when you call Him, He will answer you. You must give Him an opportunity to answer you before hanging up the phone! Habakkuk did this in Habakkuk 2:1. “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.” He was waiting to hear from the Lord, being quick to listen. Do not leave your prayer closet or get up off your knees until God gives you the release to do so. Habakkuk waited and then in verse 2 the Lord answered him. We are no different. God will speak to us the same way He spoke with Habakkuk if we are listening and wait upon Him. When you make your prayer phone call remember to wait for the Lord to answer before hanging up and just leaving a voicemail.