"I love God because He listened to me." (Psalm 116:1).
God knows everything and everybody; and everything about everybody. And He knows even that which is yet unknown to anybody. There is no thought, idea, invention, place, person, plan, or purpose which He does not know all there is to know about. Imagine, then, the wonder of His genuine attentiveness -- "He listened to me."
Have you ever tried to say something important or personal to someone who wasn't listening? Oh, sure, they held eye contact, only occasionally glancing away at some passing distraction. And they nodded at appropriate moments, and even muttered a muted grunt while you were speaking.
But, despite their feigned interest, the moment they get a chance to reply, they either fire back some trite response that has nothing whatsoever to do with what your were saying; or, they quickly excuse themselves with some pressing need that somehow suddenly came to their mind. Bye.
But God is not like this. He listens.
Obviously, it is not for what He may learn -- for He already knows. So why does He do it? Because it gives Him pleasure -- the pleasure of seeing, hearing and enjoying our learning process, and the passions that stir our hearts in life.
When you pray, therefore, do it with the awareness that He is the God who listens, and is delighted to do so. Your words matter; each one is carefully weighed by the Master of Words; each phrase is turned over and examined with artful care in His great heart. And He appreciates with Fatherly pride everything you think and say. And, having listened to you, He will also speak.
But here's the question -- do we then listen to Him?