Thursday, July 10, 2014

Praying and the Normalcy of Hearing God (Prayer Summer 2014)

Rainy day on Glen Lake, MI, through a window

Were I to write down all the times God has spoken to me as I was praying in solitude the process would be never-ending. Just in my nearly 4000 pages of journal entries there's a lot of recorded God-receptions. And then there is a normal Christian day for me, which contains - throughout - multiple God-hearings. What does hearing God sound like and look like? Here's an example from Howard Thurman. Remember that Thurman had an actual, ongoing prayer-conversation with God. So words from God given to Thurman do not arise ex nihilo.

Once when Thurman was sitting in a Quaker meeting, preparing to preach, this happened. He writes:

"There came into my mind, as if on a screen, first a single word and then more words, until there was in my mind's eye an entire sentence from the Sermon on the Mount. The curious thing was that, familiar as I was with the passage, one part of my mind waited for each word to appear as the sentence built, while another part knew what the sentence was going to say. When it was all there, with avidity my mind seized upon it. I began thinking about it as the text of what I would say."
- Thurman, 40-Day Journey With Howard Thurman, 50

Hearing from God is to be the de facto, default, "normal" experience of a Jesus-follower. As Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and follow."

God has much to say to you today. Dwell in his presence and the conversation begins.