Wednesday, August 21, 2013
God’s Word in the Listening Room
THREE WEEKS AGO in this study we looked at the practice of spending time in your own Listening Room – whatever form that takes for you. For some it will be a place of solitude, away from the busyness of life. Or it could be going for a run with God – or a combination of both (a bit of quiet coupled with a bit of activity helps me to listen, personally).
– How has this gone for you? Rich times with God? Or not? Reasonably consistent or a bit few and far between? Getting a good focus, or finding it hard to structure the time?
Today we’ll talk about a flexible format you can use in your Listening Room time. It’s just a format – there to serve you, not to make you its master! It’s flexible – you can spend more time one area or another, as God leads. But it is also freeing, because instead of thinking what to do next, you can concentrate on the Lord – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and open your heart in various directions.
FIRST THINGS FIRST – WORSHIP
This means bowing at the feet of Your Master, giving Him your praise, thanks and worship. You may use music or sing songs (which is really just making declarations praise and worship and truth). Whatever works for you. Press through with this until you feel His presence come forward, and the ‘noise’ of distracting thoughts and feelings back off.
Declare protection over your time and invite the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth – so He is waiting for you to ask Him to speak to you and teach you, as you look into His word. Perhaps like this:
“Holy Spirit, I thank You that you are My teacher. I invite you into every area of my life. I particularly invite you to open my spiritual eyes to see everything You want to show me now. To the honour and glory of Jesus.”
THIRDLY, READ AND LISTEN
Read your selected passage – perhaps you are following a consecutive plan, perhaps something else you have ‘on the go’ or a prompting to turn to a particular passage. All are good, but a plan takes you through the whole of Scripture – beware of dwelling too much in favourite passages and ignoring the rest! Ask yourself:
• What is the point, or the principle here?
• Does a word or phrase stand out to you?
• Is there a cross reference or another passage that you want to follow up?
• What is the Holy Spirit teaching you through this passage? You asked Him and He will be doing exactly that.
FOURTH, CAPTURE IT IN YOUR JOURNAL
Have a blank note book for your spiritual diary, to note thoughts and impressions given to you by the Holy Spirit, or to copy a verse or two, or note something to follow up later. Make it personal – it’s for your eyes only. However, you may also want to draw from this in a more general way from time to time, to share in your group or to read out or pray out during the Sunday worship.
FIFTH, PRAY AND INTERCEDE
Talk to God about your day, your aspirations, your friends, those that aren’t friends but you feel prompted to bless anyway…
Here is a pattern you can use which moves outward, inward, outward, inward etc. Depending on your working pattern, you could give an hour to this… Or an hour once a week would be a great start. A membership who do this is a sure-fire way to together grow a great church that blesses others!
• Worship and magnify God
• Bless your pastor, leaders, group members and church
• Pray for government and key institutions and your workplace
• Pray for your list of not-yet-Christians, Alpha invitees and those further away from the kingdom.
• Pray for family members
• Pray for yourself
Time and commitment will be a battle. Prayer is always a battle. Do it anyway – God is with you.