Let’s summarize the foundation of Listening Prayer.
David poetically describes our encounter with the Good Shepherd down in the dark valley: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5.
Imagine yourself sitting with Jesus at the table in your heart. He’s right there, right now. After all, you invited Him in. He knocked and called out to you. You answered. You opened that secret place inside you, where only you and He can go. Now you are sharing face-to-face. Spirit-to-spirit. Communing.
Yes, there are many things you want to tell Him. And He listens – patiently, loving the sound of your voice. Yet He already knows what you’re going to ask before you even speak it. Even so, tell Him. He welcomes us to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us.
What now? Are we quite finished? Please let’s not say “Amen” dismissively. It’s His turn. Let’s listen.
Does it ever occur to us to be a friend to Jesus, your Friend? Friends tell friends things. And our Friend has things to share with us. We ask Him what’s on His heart. And we take it in, open to the power and direction of the Good Shepherd. Jesus said that His sheep know His voice. Of all the noise in the world today, the only voice that matters is that of our Lord. So, with expectancy, we ask, and seek, and knock, and wait, and listen, and rest.
Here of the questions we can learn to ask of our Friend, Jesus:
Five Questions in “Listening Prayer:”
Jesus, I’m listening. Tell me what is on Your heart.
Jesus, I need to know that this is really You speaking.
Jesus, help me know Your purpose in telling me this.
Jesus, if I am to act on this prompting with others, tell me when.
Jesus, show me how best to share this word, or offer this service.
I will elaborate on these five steps in “The Art of Listening Prayer” in the next postings. Be encouraged. You can learn to hear the Lord more clearly and purposefully.