Listening, prayer

Listening. By Sarah Whybrew.

Prayer is a conversation with God and when we talk to a friend we also give time to listen to them and want to hear what they have to say. It’s the same with God. Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Do you know His voice? How much time do you give to listening to God?

Sometimes we find it hard to know God’s voice and we struggle to know which path to take when we have a difficult decision to make. Sometimes we mistake God’s voice for the voice of another person. As part of The Prayer Course we looked at an ABC to help us remember how to discern God’s voice:

A = Advice from wise friends

B = Bible – is it in line with God’s Word and character?

C = Conscience – how does it sit with the still, small voice of my conscience?

In the Bible we find many different examples of God revealing himself to His people, including via a talking donkey! God speaks to us in ways in which we can understand and relate to. However, this means that not everyone will hear from God in the same way so it can be unhelpful to compare ourselves to others in this area.

But what is it that holds us back from hearing God? Is it that we’re not making time to listen for His voice? Or that we find it difficult to discern God’s voice? Or maybe our hearts are hardened and we do not sincerely want God to start “interfering” with our lives and plans and desires?

The Bible is a great starting place if we want to hear from God. Pete Greig spoke about God speaking into our identity more often than our destiny. For example, God often speaks to us to reaffirm that we’re His child more so than telling us precisely what to do.

There are two challenges for us; firstly when are we going to make time to listen to God? How can we ensure this becomes a daily habit?  And secondly, do we put into practice what He says to us and become doers of the Word as James wrote in James 1:25. Listen and obey!

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