The call of prayer is to listen

Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it. — Pope Francis, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS  IN TODAY’S WORLD

Too often our mantra is, “Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking!” We need to say more often, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

Journey to Troas — The Joy in the Journey

Reading for Today:

Ps. 88, 91, 92
Gen. 47:1-26
1 Cor. 9:16-27
Mark 6:47-56

When we left Heights Church at the end of last year, the Lord gave me the thought of being in Troas. When Paul was on his mission and trying to get to certain areas, the Spirit closed the doors until Paul went to Troas. It was there he received the vision to go to Macedonia.

I was heading to Troas. It was time to listen. Continue reading “Journey to Troas — The Joy in the Journey”

Hearing God

Our Sunday reading and my main message centers around the Lent reading guide we have been utilizing this season. This next Sunday we are in the Gospel of Mark, which has led me into the thought of, “How do we hear God?” The disciples had Jesus right there with them, and Mark is clear: they aren’t getting it. So, this Sunday I am working on a message about hearing God.

Hear on some thoughts to ponder through the week:

Listen steadily. Evaluate steadily. Don’t be in a hurry. If you’ve never tried listening to God and you need an answer tomorrow, it’s just not going to go well.

What are some practices you have in your life that help you listen faithfully to God? PLEASE REMEMBER: I’m not checking Facebook regularly during Lent, so it would be great if you would respond here. Blessings!

Hearing the Voice of God

Breathe through the heat of our desire Thy coolness
and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm. (John Greenleaf Whittier)

Be still before the Lord. Wait patiently for him. (Ps. 37:7)

He always ready… and willing… to speak. It is us who need to be ready to listen.

The journey to hear his voice

Every once in awhile I blog on making a case for humming more. Or whistling.

There’s not enough of it in our world anymore.

My grandpa was a carpenter. I would watch him work and while he worked, especially when he was cutting a board, or measuring for the cut, he would whistle.

As I walk through my day, I hum. Sometimes I whistle.

I hum hymns. They are so embedded in my spirit, I find myself humming a tune long after I’ve already started. Then, the words come to my mind… and I am refreshed.

Learning worship songs has become more and more difficult because we are getting bored with worship songs. It’s a shame. We need solid worship tunes making their way through our spirits on a regular basis.

Pick a favorite and learn it. Make sure it’s “hummable.” There aren’t enough hummable worship songs these days. Too many songs featuring some instrument or someone’s screaming vocals.

Learn some older stuff as well, if you’re daring. Call it “cutting edge.” You’ll feel better.

Come, Thou Fount is one I find myself humming on a regular basis. When I catch up with my humming, I remember the lines of one of the verses: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, O, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.”

When I am humming those songs, my life somehow centers in. In the past few weeks I’ve been more intentional about humming. When I feel my spirit getting agitated, I begin to hum. I don’t care who is listening. And in that humming, and it’s usually a hymn like Come Thou Fount or Great is Thy Faithfulness or something else with a King James word in it… I find my soul calming down and things lining up. I answer questions more calmly. I respond much better.

I’ve also worked harder to meditate continually on the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23. They are such joyous anchors to me right now. They keep me centered in. And when I am centered in on the power of the presence of Jesus, I am further along on the journey to truly hear his voice.

 

The Silence of God

I reflected on this passage not too long ago, but the Lord testing me on this keeps it close. I need to HEAR!

11 The days are surely coming, says the Lord God,
when I will send hunger and thirst on the land;
neither a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the Lord ’s words.
12 They will wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they will roam all around, seeking the Lord’s word,
but they won’t find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Over the past several weeks I have been challenged in my prayer life in some amazing ways. Mark Batterson’s, The Circle Maker, and Draw the Circle have challenged my faith.

Also, there have been many mornings when I woke up hearing almost a “clear” word from the Lord. Something like, “Pray differently.”

Yesterday, it was just plain scary. The word I heard when I woke up was, “Why?”

And I knew immediately what the challenge was: “WHY would I keep speaking to you if you keep refusing to listen to me?”

It was a dreadful thought.

And then, all day… nothing. I am used to busy days and in the midst of them sensing something from God as I move along.

Yesterday… nothing. 

The famine is not the written word. We can have words in print all day long and not hear God.

The test of silence was NOT a fun exercise for me. God really wants us listening!