I have to admit, at first I felt a bit apprehensive about trying listening prayer. But, I decided to not let my fears stop me from pursing this time with Him and pressed ahead. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it helps me to hear what others are doing when I’m trying out a new spiritual discipline. So with that in mind, this is what I do to practice listening prayer.
4 Steps to Listening Prayer
First of all, I get into a comfortable position. You can sit on the floor, in a comfy chair, kneel, whatever seems to fit the moment. I quiet my mind by following up on a suggestion from Pastor Ron Stohler at my church. He uses a breathing or centering prayer to quiet himself. Very simply, you choose a short verse like Psalm 46:10. You breathe in and as you do this you would say, “Be still and know,” then you exhale and as you do this you say “that I am God.” Do this a few times until you feel quieted and at peace.
Next, I just ask God to tell me what He wants me to hear this day, what’s important for me to know. Then I wait. Sometimes a verse of scripture will pop into my head. Other times a word, like forgiveness or courage. God may reveal a sin that I need to confess. Often a person will come to mind. I pray for insight as to what I need to do.
Next I will write down what God has shown me, because I’ve found that I quickly forget if I don’t record it! I purchased a small spiral notebook that I use just for this time.
Finally, I thank God for that time with Him, and that’s it. Listening prayer can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Each day may be different. Sometimes I like to have instrumental music quietly playing in the background or I may light a candle. Do what helps you to connect with God.
Safety Net in Listening Prayer
One thing to keep in mind is to know that God will never reveal anything to you in this quiet time with Him that violates scripture. Use scripture as your safety net as you are practicing these times of silence and solitude. Reject any thoughts that are contrary to scripture and move on.
I pray these suggestions help you. You may have other things that work for you. Please leave a comment and share your insights with us.