I’m really bad at listening. I’m not very good at it when talking to friends and so when talking to God it’s the same – I’m doing the talking! I think the title of this post is helpful – ‘practice listening’ – you have to work at it – especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you.
I’m going to give this exercise a whirl this week:
A listening exercise by Vinita Wright, from her book Days of Deepening Friendship.
Over the next several days, practice listening. Listen to everything—traffic sounds, nature sounds, speaking sounds, and the sounds of peace and quiet. Try to listen with great attention for five or ten minutes every day. Do this during a coffee/tea break, if that helps.
Then, gradually tune in to God’s voice. This voice will come through many of the sounds you have already been noticing. It will also emerge as you partake of the arts—books, music, paintings, dance, and so forth. You will hear God’s voice during worship or while your children are playing.
Try to spend a few moments each day quietly listening for God. Don’t say anything or ask for anything. Or if you do ask for something, may it be, “God, help me tune in to your voice.”