“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;…”
John 10:27 NAS
When I was getting to know the Lord, someone explained talking to God like we talk on the telephone. Someone calls, someone answers, and then they take turns talking. But, when we pray/talk to God, we tend to do all the talking and not much listening. For me it was call God, talk , talk, talk and then “Amen”, hang up! But it is easier to talk on the phone because you can audibly hear the other person speaking. So how do we hear God and do we try to get better at it?
My Bible study had a young missionary woman come speak to us and we were so moved by His Spirit through her. This young woman was years ahead of us when it came to listening to the Lord and hearing Him clearly. We asked her the best course to learn this and she began sharing about “Listening Prayer”. We began and are still reading “Can You Hear Me?” by Brad Jersak. We have seen some amazing fruit that we could not have imagined! And I can say that this “listening” has changed the way I do life.
Listening is a discipline worth sharpening. First, I actually had to get over the fact that I had been doing most of the talking all my life; I was sad over what I must have missed! But alas, we leave the guilt behind and go onward to the better. Guilt is not a fruit of the Spirit. So if you decide to try this, remember that. And secondly, God has been speaking and you probably have heard from Him many times. This book reinforced that I was already hearing from Him. So relax and try listening. Know that God loves you so much more than you imagine. In fact try listening to what He likes about you! What a switch. We can easily hear what we are doing wrong, but why don’t we also listen for what we are doing right? This listening was so refreshing. Quiet your mind and ask Him, “God, what do you like about me?” Then just listen.
God wants to communicate with us. He sent Jesus to reach us and the Holy Spirit to commune with us constantly. So the verse above is for His sheep who have believed this. He IS talking to you …through His Word, others, music, nature, and through prayer. It’s best to start it with one specific thing so you can focus your ears. Instead of “God what do you want to say to me today? You could try, “Lord, what should I do about ______?”, picking one situation or person. Then just listen. Give yourself several minutes. We like to set a timer in our group so we can just focus on listening. As a practice, we set it for 3 minutes. I find as I listen more, I never have enough time.
Okay, so, let’s try this today together. “Lord, please talk to me about _______”. Set timer for 3 minutes and just listen. What did you hear Him say? Sometimes ladies in our circle just come up empty and sometimes they need to get out their pens and write its so much. How did it go for you? Did it go by fast or slow? Did you find it hard to hear from Him? You’ll get better and better and find the pattern of Him talking to you. The main point is that your heart is turned toward Him and your ears are open. Once you “call” God and speak briefly and then listen…and hear Him, you’ll want to hear Him again…and more. I can’t encourage you enough to hone your listening ear to your Lord.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Prayer: “Lord, give us ears to hear. I want to come to you forgiven, so please forgive me of my sins and let me know what I need to ask forgiveness for. Tell me now. (Listen)
And I do want to know what You want to say to me. Spirit, help me learn to listen more. Teach me how to calm my thoughts and quiet my soul and open myself to hearing from You. I want to hear what you are saying to me about _______. I want to hear more of what You love about me. (Listen). Thank you for allowing me to know it’s You and for being a God who speaks.
May I keep my ears open more and more throughout the day and night. Thank You for leading me with Your tender voice and loving me so much. Amen