Over the next four weeks at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, we will be learning about Jeremiah, God’s prophet who lived through times of war, want, and fear. Through all the trials, Jeremiah heard God’s voice. He listened for God.
When you pray, do you really listen for God to speak to you, or do you do all the talking? I found a list of “Ways To Be a Good Listener” and many of the points speak to how we should listen in our conversations with God.
- Don’t focus on how what the other person (in this case, God) is saying will impact you. Don’t interject your own thoughts.
- Create a mental and physical space that is conducive to listening. Get rid of distractions.
- Practice “summarize and restate.” If it helps, write down what you hear God saying. Ask God to tell you if this is, indeed what God wanted you to hear.
- Ask meaningful questions. Seek answers using the tools God gave us for discernment: Scripture, especially Jesus teaching, wise counsel of trusted friends and spiritual guides, and yes, even more listening!
- Wait. This is the hard one. In Jeremiah 42:7, we see that Jeremiah waited ten days for an answer from God. Don’t always expect an instant, easy answer. Read Psalms 27:14, 33:7, 37:7, 38:15, and 40:1 for encouragement while you wait.
- Be thankful and responsive. Offer praise and thanks for God’s constant presence in your life and for the promises that God will speak to us and answer our prayers.
In hard times, Jeremiah listened and God spoke. He heard God’s promise for a future with hope. If you practice being a good listener in your conversation with God, you will also hear that promise.
– Jennifer Creagar, Prayer Ministry & Congregational Care