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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.

To anyone considering the 2022 Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: Ask yourself if you are ready and willing to give your heart, mind, body, and soul to the experience. If you are, you will be changed in ways you may not even know you need. And it will continue to shape you into the future.” 


Learn more about Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: A One-Year Online Offering from The Academy for Spiritual Formation here.