It happened again last night. My son and I were reading his devotional book, and the chapter was about listening. It encouraged children to be mindful of the television shows they watch, and to find time when they can turn off computers and t.v.’s and iPods and hear what God is saying to them.
That’s the fourth time in the past week that I’ve heard a reference to listening to God. It came up in a conversation I was having with someone about prayer beads; about how prayer beads can be a wonderful tool to help us stop talking so much and start listening in prayer.
And it came up at a retreat I attended this past weekend. The keynote speaker was breaking down the Shema, the Jewish prayer that says: “Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” She explained that in the Hebrew translation the prayer has even more emphasis: “listen deeply, you who wrestle with God.” I was struck by that, particularly the insistence on listening deeply. It conveys an urgency, a need to listen to God with every fiber of one’s being.
So, four references in just a matter of days have gotten my attention, and I am trying to listen for what God has to say to me. And since it is easiest to listen when we stop talking, I have, again, intentionally created a simple meditation for prayer beads this week. It is all about listening for the voice of God in your midst; that voice that draws you in to reveal the wonderous love that God has for each of us.
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Invitatory Bead: “Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says.” (Deuteronomy 5:27, NIV)
Each Cruciform Bead: “Lord, I draw near.”
Each Week Bead: “Open my ears that I may hear you.”
Invitatory Bead: recite The Lord’s Prayer
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.