Day 5 — Hearing God's Voice
#DETOX is designed to prioritize God in the new year as we allow him to cleanse and renew our souls (Psalm 51:10). Together, we are committing to 21 days of prayer and fasting so that we might come into greater alignment with God’s will, purposes and plans believing and trusting in His power alone to create lasting impact and change in our lives, our church and our world.
Over the course of our #DETOX journey, we will have a daily prayer focus that will help guide and unify us as a community in prayer as we seek God's heart together on a variety of topics. You can find an overview of our daily prayer focus topics here. The following post is meant to serve as a reminder and inspiration on what and how you might pray on today's prayer focus, but should not limit how God leads you in praying. Be sure to follow along daily at our #DETOX Daily Blog here.
Prayer Focus: Hearing God’s Voice
“14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.” - John 10: 14-17
Learning and discerning what the voice of God is in my life has been one of the easiest and most difficult practices in my faith. I would say that I spend a good portion of my prayer life, in corporate and private settings, encouraging the making of space to listen to God and see what God has to say. Even with this, I constantly feel like I still need to make more space for God to speak so that I can practice learning what His voice sounds like. I don’t know about you, but I have a very strong internal voice that resounds in my head- often criticizing decisions I make or making me second guess who I am.
As I have grown in the practice of prayer- especially listening prayer- I have learned how to differentiate between my own internal voice and what I have come to attribute to the voice of God. One resounding principle that has helped me have faith as I grow in prayer has been the reality that if God is good and gracious and kind and merciful (which the Bible and the decade or so I have spent following Jesus supports and attests to), then God will become more known to me. God has been trying to reveal himself to us since the beginning of creation, allowing us to enter more into his presence. Through the practice of listening to God, we can then experience more of God’s glory.
In John’s Gospel, John frames this in a beautiful way. Jesus speaks of known-ness- of how Jesus’ knowledge of the Father leads to us having an intimate knowledge of the Father- and how we are able to hear Jesus’ voice because we know Him. Jesus declares himself to be the Good Shepherd. When we enter into a life we Jesus, we get the choice to accept that he is good and will guide us where we need to go. We get the chance to believe in the reality that he died for us and laid down his life for us, that we may have relationship with the Father and Holy Spirit. As we engage with the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we get the opportunity to engage with God in a new way and learn to hear God’s voice.
It is so difficult to hear God’s voice when we don’t make space for it. It is also so difficult to know what God’s voice sounds like when we aren’t taking the time to get to know God’s character.
As I have grown in my capacity for prayer, I have realized it is directly correlated to the understanding I have of the person and work of Jesus. I spend time regularly in the word, absorbing the nature and character of the Triune God. I ask God to reveal himself to me in the beauty of creation. I live life with other people who understand the character of God in different ways than I do, and I ask them to share their knowledge with me.
As you go about your day today, take an extra step in your prayer to make space to hear God’s voice.
Ask Jesus to reveal more of God’s character to you
Spend 2-5 minutes in silence, making space to hear God’s voice. (If you are prone to distractions, imagine your thoughts going out on a cloud or washing down a stream)
Find someone else to pray with- and ask God to speak!
Go for a walk with Jesus!
Reflect on ways you have learned more about God’s character in the last year
May Jesus reveal more of his character to you today as you go with him, and may that help you hear the voice of God more clearly!
— Catherine W.