Listening

I am reading “Benedict’s Way:  an ancient monk’s insights for a balanced life” by Lonni Collins Pratt and Father Daniel Homan, OSB.  The first way is the way of listening.  Apparently this a rather important way because it bookends all the other ways.

As I have been practicing praying the hours (and especially as I practice centering prayer) I am discovering that I am far better at being still than I am listening.  I have yet to come to the place where I can be still on the inside and listen intently for God’s voice.  I need, in the words of that beautiful hymn, for God to “bind my wondering heart to Thee.”

There have been times when I have listened and heard God’s voice.  Recently (and very much a catalyst in this journey I am now on) I heard God’s voice speak to me saying, “You are running around trying to fix everything when I have a better way.”  A better way.  Perhaps the way of listening.  Rather than pressing on and fixing everything as I am accustomed to doing I retreated into silence instead, listening for God’s voice.

Listening is difficult for me.  I want to be on the go and be about doing.  Listening requires being, not doing.  I suppose this is one reason I find it difficult to pray as I drive.  How can I pay attention to God when there are so many distractions?  I am (slowly) learning to pause during my day and fixing my thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3, NIV) which is helping me to listen.

Where do I need to hear God speak now?  I suppose I need him to continue speaking into my brokenness so that healing can keep taking place.  I need him to speak into my ministry.  I need him to speak into whatever he needs to speak into.  “O God, you have searched me and you know me.” (Psalm 139:1)  Since you know me Lord, you alone know where I need to hear your voice.

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One thought on “Listening

  1. We are blessed to have a pastor that cares about listening to God. I don’t know how to do this yet fully either. When God speaks to me its normally in the midst of what I am doing. Actually showing up to pray and expecting to hear from God at that time during prayer is something I am not very used to.

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