People find it hard to listen to God. It does take practice and discipline, but Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice” so we should expect to be hearing the voice of the Lord often.
For listening prayer, we first ditch the prayer list. This is about communion with God, not shopping.
I find it helpful to have a journal so I can write things down. I also find it helpful to have a piece of paper to write down all the things that my brain comes up with in the silence- that way I can train myself to accept that those things that worry me will be dealt with.
I start by saying something like ,”Lord here I am ready to listen and to enjoy your presence.” Then I stop and sit still, allowing my mind to be quiet.
Sometimes I will bring some concerns to the Lord. I will write down my prayer, and what I hear as God’s response.
Other times I will come with no agenda at all. I have learned that the things I think about (other than the trivial things that I need to do something about) are often the things that the Holy Spirit is prompting me to pray about. This morning, for example, I found myself thinking about the Prime Minister so I spent some time praying for him and the Government. This is not something I do regularly but I believe God was wanting me to do that today.
The key to all this is to approach prayer as a conversation not a list of demands.