My sister once ridiculed me for reading How to Read a Book, the assumption being that if you know how to read, then reading a book should come quite naturally.
We use the same logic with regard to listening to sermons, and suppose that because our ears work, we know how to hear.
This is quite wrong, as it turns out. Here is how Charles Spurgeon put it:
We are told men ought not to preach without preparation. Granted. But we add, men ought not to hear without preparation. Which, do you think needs the most preparation, the sower or the ground? I would have the sower come with clean hands, but I would have the ground well-plowed and harrowed, well-turned over, and the clods broken before the seed comes in. It seems to me that there is more preparation needed by the ground than by the sower, more by the hearer than by the preacher.
Ken Ramey expands on Spurgeon’s admonition and gives the biblical theology of listening as well as practical suggestions for how believers should prepare themselves to hear the Word of God preached.
Every Christian should purchase and read this book.