“To not listen to God who is trying to speak to me, is to restrict myself to a disorientated and hollow life. The glory of God is the human person fully alive, and I am brought to life by listening to God’s word. So I pick a phrase or scene from the daily readings to nourish me in my prayer…
‘Lord, what are you trying to communicate to me today?
I don’t want to ignore you. Speak, Lord, your servant is trying to listen.
You are not a distant God, but in touch with me today, at this hour.
You are closer to me than breathing, and nearer than hands or feet.
I may be all over the place but you are with me always.
I’m like a child engrossed in a game and don’t hear my parent calling me.
Take away my deafness and blindness. Make me a hearer of your word.’
By reading the scriptures, I get to know God’s mind on things; and when I respond, God in a sense, gets to know my mind!” Excerpted from Finding God in All Things by Brian Grogan SJ (p. 38)
So what scriptures to use?
Start with using the Sunday readings, they are provided each week in both the printed worship materials and in the on-line materials.
The Psalms too are a wonderful place to find words of lament, hope, expressions of praise.
How to begin reading scripture as a means of listening to God?
Settle into a seat, feet and body relaxed, slowly inhale and exhale, 4 or 5 times, then read the passage to yourself slowly, considering the words and phrases. Is there something there that gains your attention? Savor it. If nothing comes, that is ok. Read it again, out loud if possible, and again listen intently for something to rise up. You can ask the questions above before you begin reading, during the reading, or following it. Simply sit quietly, for 5 or so minutes, set a timer if it helps, trying to be quiet before God, inviting God’s love, words, grace.
Listening to God in prayer, through scripture, through the world, is not magic, and it does take practice. It is a spiritual practice designed to aid you in your relationship to God, the UP relationship. Continuing to practice this discipline, may lead to transformation, and to a deepening relationship with others (IN and OUT).
The challenge is to try, not to earn salvation, but to gain a deeper understanding of God’s will, voice, love, grace, and a deepening faith life.
In God’s love,