Pastoral Hub

IFGF Global

Listening to God in prayer


Listening to God in prayer! This might not be our habit or something difficult for us because it requires us to listen to what is in God’s heart besides expressing what is in our heart. God wants to communicate with His people more than our desire to communicate with Him! How can we cultivate the skill of listening to His voice, especially since God’s voice usually comes gently into our lives?

One way is through contemplative prayer, where in our busyness and activities, consciously, we strive to actively listen with focused attention and the certainty that God will speak to us.

Throughout the Psalms, David is an example of someone who waits for the Lord in this way:

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.“ (Psalm 62:1); “As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1).

Contemplative prayer is calming ourselves with God, with empty hands and waiting attentively for whatever He wants to say. It is a discipline to be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10).

If practicing this discipline, God can speak many things, words that give us strength, love, actions, or attitudes that we need to acknowledge to Him—and sometimes others—and lead us to seek reconciliation. Only by listening to the voice of His Spirit can we recognize our sins and hear Him leading us to ask for His forgiveness.

Strangely, I often find myself just as reluctant to hear His words of love. So many of us do not wait in His presence long enough to let Him love us. Instead, we quickly voice our concerns, seek His guidance, and ask for His blessings. It must sadden our Father’s heart that we come to Him just because we lack something rather than because we enjoy His presence.

Let’s begin with a few steps that can help:

  1. Meditate on God’s word
    After studying His Word, choose one verse, phrase, or word to meditate on. Reflect and repeat it slowly. Ask God what He wants to say to you (Psalm 119:78). Choose a verse like, “The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1). Sometimes a familiar verse loses its meaning. Meditating on it and asking questions reveals what we may have overlooked.
  1. Sing and pray the Psalms
    “Sing praise to the Lord” (Psalm 68:32). After reading a psalm, sing it to a tune you know or create as you go. Singing psalms helps us meditate on them again by increasing our engagement and understanding of what we have read.
  1. Journal in prayer
    Write your prayers to God and wait for His response. Writing helps us stay focused and delve deeper into our thoughts and hearts. Write something you want to tell God (a statement, not a question, about something happening in your lives). Then listen and ask the Holy Spirit to provide wisdom and understanding on what you prayed from His Word.
  1. Listen to God speak through His creation
    “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). As we sit on the beach, He reminds us that His love is steadfast. Walking on the beach sand can remind us of what David said about how precious we are. (Psalm 139:17,18).
  1. Be still in His presence
    “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.” (Lamentations 3:25,26,28).
    In this quiet position, we can hear Him speak more sharply. We honor the Lord by expressing our willingness to remain in His presence.

Prayer is communication. You talk, God listens.
You listen when God talks.

– Omoakhuana Anthonia –

Source: Ps. Dave Rustanto (Global Prayer Coordinator) 


Post a Comment