Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply. ~ Stephen Covey
How to listen? Covey’s words above are a good place to start.
I also think it applies to this multi-tasking, 24-hour communication world we live in. How often have you read someone’s answer to an e-mail you sent and wondered, “did they not read what I just sent? or why can’t they just answer the question.” I suspect that the answer is the recipient of your email was so busy responding immediately to your email or tweet that they read it with an intent to reply first and understand second.
Conversations with God through prayer and meditation can be frustrating, but one always knows that God is listening to understand first and foremost. It is only after God understands will he or she reply.
I find myself not pausing to understand before replying to my own voice at times.
In this whirling, spinning world we live in do yourself a favor. Slow it down by understanding before replying. You will be amazed what a difference it makes.