The art of listening is a difficult one. It requires discipline to be a good listener.
In the house of worship we can miss much of what God has to say to us because we are poor listeners and have taken no trouble to be better. We may appear to be listening with fixed attention when actually our minds are miles away. Often we let the words of Hymns, scripture, prayers or sermon slip by because we have brought into the service outside or trivial matters and allow our thoughts to settle on them. While our thoughts are busy here and there, the hour passes and we go away as spiritually impoverished as when we came.
As columnist John R. Gunn writes, "Sometimes we listen well enough and then go away and forget or dismiss what we have heard." James says, Whoever listens and does nothing is like a man who glances at his natural face in a mirror. He glances at himself, goes off and at once forgets what he was like.
If you listen to a sermon and it reveals to you some defect in your moral character or some lack in your spiritual life or some shortcoming in your Christian duty and you go away and forget it or neglect to do anything about it, do not try to make amends; you have not been a good listener.
If we would be good listeners, we must realize our needs, we must bring to the house of God a heart willing to be cleansed; a mind open to receive His word and waiting to be inspired. We must bring a desire to know and be conformed to His will and our lives as empty vessels ready for filling.
Our prayer in the house of God should be speak Lord for thy servant heareth.