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An Exercise in Listening to God

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by Marjorie J. Thompson

Compose yourself in quiet.
Relax.
Breathe deeply and gently.
Re-collect yourself before God.

Ponder a significant question you have about your life (not an abstract question).
Pose your question to God. It may help to imagine asking Jesus.
Be in silence, open to what comes. Don’t try to think up an answer.

Allow images, impressions, words, feelings, intuitions to surface.
If insights arise, note them on paper. If nothing comes, don’t worry. Try one of these:

  • Go for a walk with no agenda.
  • Pick up clay, paper and crayons, or some creative medium and just play.
  • Journal a dialogue: allow an interior conversation to unfold between you and God/Jesus/Spirit.

If something comes to you as gift, give thanks!

If you think you might have gotten a clue, pray to stay alert to further signs.

If nothing discernible happened, ask to hear/see what you need over the next few days.


From pp. 127 of The Way of Discernment, Leader's Guide by Marjorie J. Thompson. Copyright © 2005 Upper Room Books. Used with permission.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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