My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
One of the principles of prayer I have discussed in the past is about listening for God to speak. Prayer is not just petitioning God for what we need, nor even just praising Him, or expressing our gratitude. All those aspects are important parts of prayer, but one that we often miss is listening.
Listening is hard. We like to express what is on our mind. We feel the need to talk. Yet, part of any relationship is the ability to listen. So, how do we learn to listen to God? Learning to hear His voice is difficult, because we have to discern whose voice we are hearing- mine or His?
Like anything, time and patience bear fruit as we practice a discipline. As a counselor, I know both the importance of listening, and the importance of self-awareness. We need to really be attuned to what is going on internally to be able to discern God’s voice. We need to know our own selfish and self-serving nature, and accept that this is part of being human. In fact, the awareness and acceptance of our brokenness is the beginning of healing and health. Humility is the beginning of wisdom.
God can speak to us in many ways- if we are listening. He wants to connect with us, and He uses various ways to do this. Often, He speaks through other people, whose wisdom we need to consider. He can speak through circumstances, which challenge us to consider choosing the right path.
In this on-going (seemingly never-ending) COVID-19 crisis, I have heard God through the voices and actions of heroic and selfless people who run to the aid of those in trouble. They put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of others- even people that they do not know.
When we see such actions, we see the heart of God at work. Look and listen closely for the voice of God today. Seek, and you shall find…
Prayer: Thank you for your presence, which we can see and hear all around us when we really listen for it, Amen