“Give me a God-listening heart”
(1 Kings 3:9 The Message)
Exercise One: Listening for the Truth in Our Lives
Remember posture. Relax unnecessary tension. Slow your breathing. You can review your preparation routine by clicking here. Take a deep breath and let it out. Breathe in normally. As you exhale, pray the God-listening prayer:
“Lord, do you understand me?” Listen.
If your mind is wandering, try a different way. Pray,
“Lord, do you know what I need?” Listen.
“Lord, do you hear me when I call?” Listen.
Listen for the “Yes,” however you experience it. Be aware that you may hear, see, feel, or sense other answers. That is common. Since God is a God who loves through understanding, any voice you are aware of that does not say, “Yes,” speaks for itself and not for God.
Make a note in your notebook of any negative or qualified answers to the question “Lord, do you love me?” These answers are not biblical. They are the foundation of thoughts and behaviors that deny what Christ taught. You will learn to recognize them in the midst of everyday decision-making and pass by them without acting on them. When you review your notebook at the end of the week, I encourage you to spend some time exploring the attitudes that express your non-Christ-like beliefs and the types of actions they encourage. Just ask God what he wants you to understand about the negative answers you carry around between your ears.
Exercise Two: Listening to Our Experience for the Gifts We Receive
After repeating each thought silently to yourself, listen without conscious effort to control your thoughts. Just be aware of the words, phrases, feelings or impressions that come to you.
“Lord, show me where I was when you understood me in the last several days.”
“Lord, have I felt your understanding recently?” Listen.
“Lord, show me that you know who I am and what I need.” Listen.
If your mind is racing and you need to slow down, ignore the rest of the exercises. Rather, turn to the first exercise based on Psalm 23. After using it, return to the first prayer, “Lord, do you understand me?”
Exercise Three: Recalling the Gifts We Give
Relax, take a deep breath, then let it out. Breathe in normally. When I ask you to listen, be still and without effort allow yourself to be aware of the dialogue of your heart.
“Where was I when I understood another, Lord?” Listen.
“Lord, did I love another with understanding yesterday? Show me.” Listen.
“Lord, who have I encouraged by being understanding?” Listen.
Give yourself a few minutes to write down one or two of your experiences. Thank God for the opportunities you have had to love others with the love we meet in Jesus Christ.
Exercise Four: Listening for God’s Guidance for Our Ministry to Others
Relax and settle. If you need to, begin again at the top of your head and move your center of awareness down, relaxing any tension you may have accumulated.
“Lord, is there anyone I know who needs understanding?” Listen.
“Lord, show me people who need me to understand them.” Listen.
“Lord, whom do I know who hungers for understanding?” Listen.
On an index card, make notes of any acts of love you feel God may want you to do and date it.Thank God for the opportunities you have had to love others with the love we meet in Jesus Christ (John 13:34).
This completes the cycle for this week. Remember that it is neither necessary nor even desirable to try to complete each exercise every day. You can always begin where you left off the next day.
God is like oxygen! We breath it and so we know he’s there! Oxygen is there thanks to him. It’s a miracle in itself. It is not magic! Its an energy! It works by its own means creating life and that makes it a miracle. Further that, we don’t need to understand it. We are not Demigods with the right to demand an answer. Who are we????? but a flea on a bear’s bud ;with IT power to seat on us when ever IT decides ! IT! laughs when we demand. The irony of us all! We still don’t get it! I myself ; when I loose my patience and go off on IT ;LATER!, I realize! that I just went against something bigger than MT.Evevrest! We are funny and silly creatures who haven’t come down from the trees yet! We stumble upon the same rock over and over throuout the ages/generations! We want to empower ourselves over others and then when we recall our faith, we turn to it . Its all a game to us all! AAAAAnd we are all MORTALS! How dare we! YEAP! all free will given by IT! IT! shot his own foot! Yet IT! knew that we needed our independence so that we can evolve as individuals! It is necesary for our genes! Yet! we still don’t get it and as arrogant as we can be ,we take it for granted. As for me ; GOD? I NOW! UNDERSTAND! PLEASE IGNORE ME AND MY MOUTH. I’M A POOR IDIOT that should be removed from this great creation of yours which is EARTH ; for all said by me! I have never been worthy of being here! I hope you still love me (THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME) and I know I have a tab pending when I cross over! Punish me if you will . I had it coming! I accept your will PAPA! I humbly yield to you! No one else!! You were always right by me! I’m so hard headed!XXXOOO
What a thoughtful and interesting response. I was really struck by how you said, “We stumble upon the same rock over and over throuout the ages/generations! We want to empower ourselves over others and then when we recall our faith, we turn to it.”
In your opinion, what leads us to the truth that we are not in control?