Listening Prayer

September 1, 2016

Jesus often sought solitude and silence to commune with God.  We can follow his example today by taking time for this spiritual exercise.  Sitting alone with God in silence will bring a new and powerful awareness of God's peace and guidance as you learn to let go of control, get out of your head, and begin listening with your whole self to God.

If this practice is new to you, start small.  Even five minutes of silence can seem like a long time.  Find and set a timer for five minutes, so you won't have to guess at the time.  The amount of time you spend at the beginning of this practice is not nearly as important as the regularity of it. 

Sit in a comfortable position with your back and shoulders straight but relaxed. Place both feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position in your lap. 

Choose a simple word or short phrase that expresses your openness and desire for God.  Then repeat this word or phrase as you breathe in and out.  For example, breathe in and say, "Lord Jesus;" then breathe out while saying, "let your love shine in me."

When distracting thoughts appear, gently return to your word or phrase.  By simply showing up with a desire to listen to God in the silence, you will be surprised by what you hear, either during the silent time or later on.