Chapel: Prayer Week is a time to be all ears

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

Preston Morrison’s Chapel talk Monday morning at Grand Canyon University Arena was easy to listen to but tough on the ears.

Morrison, pastor of Gateway Church in Scottsdale, was sharing his thoughts about prayer as a starting point for Prayer Week at GCU. When it came to discuss how we listen to God, Morrison offered a takeoff on the “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason” idea.

“The only things uglier than ears are feet,” he said. “What’s the deal with ears? They’re hideous.”

Preston Morrison of Gateway Church in Scottsdale based his Chapel talk Monday on the purpose of prayer. (Photo by Darryl Webb)

Preston Morrison of Gateway Church in Scottsdale based his Chapel talk Monday on the purpose of prayer. (Photo by Darryl Webb)

That was Morrison’s humorous way of putting a bug in the crowd’s collective ear about one of the purposes of prayer: to hear God. Praying to be heard by God is obvious, but Morrison said, “There are things in your life that require you to hear Him speak before you act.”

Morrison referred to a number of Bible verses in his talk, and in this segment he cited Ecclesiastes 5:1 (“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.”) and Isaiah 55:3 (“Give ear and come to Me; listen, that you may live.”).

God will always listen to us, Morrison said, putting the idea in everyday terms by comparing it to people who name-drop the famous people they know.

“If they won’t pick up your call, you don’t know them that well,” he said. “But we have God’s private number.”

The Bible is filled with passages about God’s willingness to listen to us. Morrison pointed to:

  • Psalm 61:1-2 (“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer.”)
  • Micah 7:7 (“I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”)
  • Psalm 18:6 (“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.”)
  • Isaiah 59:1 (“Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is His ear too deaf to hear your call.”)

But the most important purpose of prayer, Morrison said, is to get closer to God. We do that best by sitting with God in silence, as noted in a verse from Matthew, Morrison’s favorite book in the Bible:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen,” Matthew 6:6 reads. “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Prayer Week, in which GCU students, faculty and staff are asked to sign up for a time slot to pray, began right after Chapel and will continue until midnight Friday. The form is available here.

“This is what God is asking: What are you going to let Me talk about during Prayer Week?” Morrison said. “A big part of maturity is knowing when to stop talking.”

It’s a big part of praying, too.

● For a replay of Morrison’s talk, click here.

● Next week’s Chapel speaker: Samson Dunn, Catalyst Church

Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or


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