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The Art of Listening

Today’s Reflection

LISTENING IS AN ART, a spiritual practice. … Listening speaks to one of our deepest needs, to be understood or feel understood. Yes, we might like people to agree with us, take our side, but it is a great gift when we feel that the person understands us, even if the person does not agree with us. … Listening acknowledges and honor’s the other’s uniqueness with his or her own stories and truths. We each need to tell our story, and we each need to hear the other’s story. Being listened to provides the opening we need to tell our stories, to express feelings and ideas we would otherwise be afraid to voice.

– Thomas Porter

The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation

From pages 40-41, The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation: Creating a Culture of JustPeace, Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Porter Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pa attention and find a time to truly listen. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10, NRSV

This Week: pray for those those without adequate food and water. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

The Miracles of Jesus, The Upper Room’s 2013 online Lenten retreat! Journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter exploring the miracles of Jesus and what they say today. Join in online anytime from anywhere alone or with a group of friends.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Agnes (January 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 22, 2013, 3:35 am

    I am encouraged again today by the passage from Nehemiah…”the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Father, thank You for speaking to us through Your Word.

  • robert moeller January 22, 2013, 5:11 am

    I hope I am truly listening to you Lord.

    Yes, may I daily help to feed the hungry.

    Thank you Lord for Willa, for the chance to see Young Jun, and the chance to help.

  • Betsy January 22, 2013, 6:12 am

    I struggle with listening to others. I pray today that I will use this skill in encounters with my students; listening to their needs, no mater how trivial, with compassion and empathy.

  • Connie January 22, 2013, 6:47 am

    I will have to say I am a very good listener and very discreet in what I hear. I believe this quality is a blessing from God. I will have to say also that sometimes the listener is not listened to! ha.
    I like to listen to scripture and comments from others and the sounds of nature. These ears of ours are truly miraculous. Thank you, God, for all of these gifts that we sometimes take for granted.

  • Carol January 22, 2013, 7:08 am

    I think true listening is a gift from God. Listening, without thinking at the same time. Just to listen. I know myself if I will just listen, without thinking to work out what I will say or even bringing up my own story, then I will “hear” what the Spirit wants me to hear. It’s not what people are saying. It’s what they’re not saying. Listen and trust that the Lord will alert you to what is truly being said.

    • Connie January 22, 2013, 8:32 am

      Yes, I agree. Listening without thinking of what you will say next. That can be difficult at times, that is for sure. Listening with the heart.

  • mary ng shwu ling January 25, 2013, 11:18 pm

    Father God, grant me patience when i listen to my elderly parents even though sometimes they repeat the same story again and again.

    grant me patience God to listen to my students even though they complain day after day the same classmates they are not happy with or frustrated with.

    Grant me patience God to listen.

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