AWAKENING HEARTS PLAN – JANUARY 2024
LISTENING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION. Each week we will offer a different idea for quieting your mind and listening for God’s voice in the chaos of our lives.
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” – 1 Kings 19:11-13
January 7th – 6 Tips for Quieting Your Mind So You Can Listen to God
- Place yourself in an environment that helps you concentrate. Find a quiet corner or room that is away from distractions.
- Talk to God about what you’re reading in the Bible when you pray. Treat it like a conversation. Leave space and quiet for him to respond.
- Don’t fight distracting thoughts by trying to avoid them altogether. The more you focus on what you don’t want to think about, the more you’ll think about it!
- Choose a short phrase or sentence from the Bible. Meditate on it, reading and re-reading it until it really sinks in.
- Find a time to pray and meditate that works for you and stay consistent with that time. First thing in the morning works for a lot of people.
- Start small. Baby steps. If you aren’t used to sitting quietly, try 5 minutes until that gets easier, then work your way up to longer periods.
January 14th – Listening for God in Music. Enjoy this precious time with the Lord. Reflect on or journal about the following questions, listening for what God has to say to you.
- What role has music played in your life? Does a particular song bring back a special memory? What kind of music do you like best? What about it brings a smile to your face?
- Can you think of times when music played a role in your spiritual life? Describe how the song, hymn, or harmonies intertwined with your walk with Jesus. Consider that the effect might not have been because of a particular melody but because of your participation–hearing the voices around you, singing with other people, or being free of other distractions.
It’s time to give it a try! Quiet your soul and open your heart to hear from God by playing music. Listen to your favorite worship song or one of the choices below and listen for what God has to say to you. If it doesn’t distract you too much, write down the thoughts that come to mind. If you can’t do this right now, identify a time today or this week that you will spend time listening to music and letting God speak to you.
January 21st – How to practice Listening Prayers
- Come to God with your request for guidance. Share with God your specific request for guidance in prayer. And by the power of Christ, give God’s voice authority over the voices of others and our own voices.
- Wait in silence for God to speak for 10-12 minutes. Listen to what God is saying to you. What themes emerge? What becomes clear about God’s plan for you as you listen?
Jot down any Scripture, songs, impressions, or pictures God gives you. Be open to things you may not understand yet.
January 28th – Be still, ask, listen and read God’s Word.
- God speaks in His word.
- Read a short section of scripture and spend time listening to what He is saying.
- Ask questions of God to understand what He is saying.
- Pause for His answers and/or reread His words.
- Restate out loud what you hear God saying.
- End with a time of prayer. God is listening to you now.