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February 3, 2020  

Listening For God
(Discovering God’s Will Together; #9)
John 8:42-47

A. Prayer is central, assumptive, and normative in the Christian Life

B. In discerning God’s will, prayer is absolutely essential

The Principles

“The best method of prayer is to have no method at all.” (St. Francis deSales)

A. Principle One: The best way to learn to pray is ... to pray

B. Principle Two: Prayer is primarily about our relationship with God

1. Prayer is not about getting stuff, problem solving or seeking guidance

2. Prayer is about experiencing more of God’s presence

C. Principle Three: We don’t really know much about prayer

1. We are consciously stepping into the presence of the God of the universe!

2. We tend to focus on the mechanics and methods of prayer

D. Principle Four: Prayer is hard work; it takes time

1. We wonder whether all the effort will be worth it

2. We join the disciples and ask, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1)

E. Principle Five: Prayer is a gift from God

F. Everything you need to know about now know

The Presuppositions

A. Four parts of prayer: God speaks, we listen; we speak, God listens

B. God speaks

1. God brought the universe into existence by His spoken Word

2. In the Garden, Adam and Eve talked with God and God talked with them

3. Moses learned to hear God’s voice and obey his command

“You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us or we will die.” (Exodus 20:19)

4. God sent prophets to speak for him

5. Then Jesus came speaking

“I am the Good shepherd; my sheep know my voice” (John 10:4)

6. In Acts 1:1f; Luke indicates that after his ascension, Jesus continues “to do

and to teach” through His Spirit

7. Good news: God hasn’t stopped speaking. Bad news: most people have

stopped listening

“He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is you do not belong to God.” (John 8:47)

“The sheep follow him because they know his voice…” (John 10:4)

“They too will listen to my voice…” (John 10:16)

C. We need to listen

1. Few people hear an outward recordable voice

2. Most often God speaks in a whisper deep in our heart

3. Listening is a crucial element in our relationship with Jesus

“Jesus Christ is alive and here to teach his people himself. His voice is not hard to hear; his vocabulary is not difficult to understand. But learning to listen well and to hear correctly is no small task.” (Richard Foster)

4. The Christian faith is hearing the voice of God and doing it

5. What are you listening for? When was the last time you heard God speak?

The Practice

A. Most often, God speaks in common promptings...

1. Then, we have a small window to respond

2. The goal is to carry a listening “ear” with us through our day

“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persona are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees at the blessed sacrament.” (Brother Lawrence)

“God does not cease speaking, but the noise of the creatures without, and of our passion within, deafens us, and stops our hearing. We must silence every creature; we must silence ourselves, to hear in the deep hush of the whole soul, the ineffable voice of the spouse. We must bend the ear, because it is a gentle and delicate voice, only heard by those who no longer hear anything else.” (Francois Fenelon)

B. Ask God to speak to you. Practice Listening! Keep practicing!

C. The voice of God is heard by those who no longer listen for anything else

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