There’s listening – and then there’s listening. A wise priest explained his journey in prayer as the movement from talking to listening. As a young, earnest priest, he began his prayer by talking at God, the way you’d talk at an infant or a pet. Gradually he found himself talking to God, the way one talks to a seatmate on a long flight. Then he found himself talking with God, the way one speaks with a friend. Finally, he said, “I stopped talking altogether and started listening, listening to God and lately listening for God.”
With my early piano lessons came hours of ear training. Over time, I recognized patterns; I could anticipate where a composition was heading. Something like ear training happens in Christian worship, as the daily rhythms of Scripture, prayer, and silence tunes disciples’ ears to the cadence of God’s voice. Over time and in community, that divine cadence etches itself on disciples’ hearts, so that they recognize God’s voice outside of these familiar structures.
This message is excerpted from “Listen! God is calling” by M. E. Stortz in the July/August 2019 Gather magazine.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.