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To Hear God

Today’s Reflection

I HAVE BEEN LEARNING not to do all the talking during my prayer time. In the same way that I can only listen to others if I keep quiet, I must stop talking to God if I am going to pay attention to what God is saying to me. In my one-on-one time with God, there are moments when I am silent. During these moments I think about what I have read in scripture, I contemplate a gospel story, I reflect on my time of conversation with Christ, or I recall the events of the day. During these times, I pay attention to my thoughts and feelings and wonder what God may be saying to me.

But how do we know if what we perceive is from God? What criteria can we rely on for discerning that a thought comes from God and not from some other source? Thoughts from God have a distinctive feel, content, and texture about them. They have those characteristics outlined in James 3:17: “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (NIV). Above all, whatever God says to us will always be consistent with the teachings of Jesus that we find in the Gospels. This is why an intimate acquaintance with his words is so critical.

– Trevor Hudson
Beyond Loneliness

From pages 58-59 of Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2016 by Trevor Hudson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What connection do you see between prayer and Bible study? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.

2 Samuel 6:5, NRSV

This Week: pray to know God’s deep love for you. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Jill July 9, 2018, 6:38 am

    I love that the verse I have been praying over and over is part of the reading this morning. The attributes in this verse are what I have been praying over and over, especially for my relationship with my sister…that these attributes would be obvious as I relate with her. Slightly different from the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, but certainly complementary.
    Now, to the question…prayer and Bible Study. For myself, I need to prayerfully ask God to help me understand what I am reading and studying from the Bible. That I would indeed take what He has for me in a passage and apply it, not relying on my own understanding. Studying His Word so I can apply it to my life and my relationships with others.
    Yesterday I attended the monthly cancer support group at the main campus of my church. I also attended the morning service, prior to the group. It is so incredibly encouraging to hear members of this group testify to God’s faithfulness in each of their situations. Yet, at some point, I become so very sad because this is not my mother’s path. This is the third time I have attended this group and I am now questioning if I should continue to go. I don’t know if the emotional roller coaster is worth it. I met a lady yesterday, she sat down beside me and we introduced ourselves. Turns out her children went to the school I teach at. I did not have them in class, but she recognized me. She was such a comfort. At the end of the time together, she offered to pray with me. When she finished, we were both teary eyed.
    Thank you for praying for my tennis friend – her name is Leslie. We have been friendly rivals for at least 15 years.

    • Betsy July 9, 2018, 6:55 am

      So glad you are attending a support group, Jill! Even though you may be hearing stories far different from your own, there is strength in the process. You may also be a comfort and witness to someone else as you continue on your own journey. Praying for your mom, dad and your sister during this time.

  • robert moeller July 9, 2018, 7:51 am

    Lost my grandfather in the 60s, my uncle in the 90s, and an army buddy recently to cancer. We have certainly come along way in both treatment for the patient and support for family, friends, and care givers. Have not been in a support group, but from the posts you have given, Jill, I would urge you to continue. You are willing for the support and that’s a huge step. I pray your Mom takes that step as well. Everyone deals with situations differently, that’s a tough reality. Am soi glad you are sharing all of this with us as it is helpful. Support is coming to you from unexpected sources, that’s amazing too. I support Betsy’s comments, thank you Betsy.

    Thankful for the many hymns sung yesterday, the message on who God is in the Lord’s Prayer, a delightful picnic with three churches together, and a lesson on the history of Methodism on the 50th anniversary of the United Methodist Church.

    At home my son made a great supper, has done a lot of work researching an area we have recently been through. Sometime this week we are planning a visit there.

    At the doctor’s office I have been taken off a med and had another one halved.
    will get the new shingle shot, and treatment for the corn/callus on my right foot.

    My daughter, granddaughters, and son in law are back in Brooklyn. Jenny starts work on costumes for a tv show for the next 6 months.

    Tomorrow I am hopeful my son will come with me to my counselor. I think it could be a huge step in the right direction.

    Thankful for your prayers for me, Erich, Anneliese, and Pearl. I too am praying for your needs, concerns, health, wellbeing, families, friends, work place conditions, situations, and support. May you all hear God in your prayers and feel the love and wisdom God provides. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

    • Julie July 9, 2018, 8:14 am

      Prayers for you Robert. Thankful for the poitive medication news. Prayers for safe and fruitful travel for you and Erich. Prayers that Erich gives counselling a try since it would mean so much to you. Prayers for your daughter, Jenny, son in law and grandaughters.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling July 9, 2018, 10:53 am

      Robert, glad to hear about the good news of your medication to be taken off for one and another halved.

      Praying that Erich will go to see the counseller with you snd both of you benefit from the counselling session.

      May both of you have many happy moments together!

  • Julie July 9, 2018, 8:07 am

    I always feel woefully lacking in the practice of listenning to God. I have this book and I will loook for it and try to read and use its insights to deepen my prayer life.
    Prayers for Jill. It seems God spoke to you by sending the woman to sit by you and your coonnection with her. It seems He is saying that you are meant to be a part of this group. Take the comfort the group offers and learn from your negative feelings. Continued prayers for Leslie.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family and friends.
    Prayers for Marcy. May she experience relief from pain and breathing issues. May she receive the help she needs frm the government.
    Marcy, you asked if we would share information about our pets. My babies are one of my favorite topics! We have Tonkinese, a cross of Siamese and Burmese originally. First we had Pooka (Minkitty’s Sebastian on pedigree). He rests in a cat shaped urn on my coffee table. When he was 4 years old we got litter mates Minkitty’s Chai and Minkitty’s Tazmanian Devil. Minkitty is the name of the breeder’s cattery. We call Chai mostly Chai but also Barely There Bear. This is a joke because we have to work hard to keep his weight in check. We call the other Tazzie or May May. His name is very accurate because just like the cartoon character he runs around like a maniac a lot. He also runs so fast that at times he runs into things.
    Prayers and blessings and thank you all UR family members

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling July 9, 2018, 9:08 am

    I see the connection between prayer and bible study in praying the scriptures for spiritual growth and aligning our plans with His. The bible also has many examples of prayers which we can pray and examples we can follow.

    May we continue to grow spiritually as we pray and study the bible daily!

  • Marcy July 9, 2018, 7:40 pm

    Sometimes. I start reading the Bible, and then pray. But normally, I start out with the Apostles’s Creed, Our Father, (as Jesus taught us) and a few other traditional prayers. Then I pray to God by thanking Him for all He has done for us, and His blessings. Then I confess to any slip-ups, perceived or unknown, asking for forgiveness. Then I spend quite some time in intercessory prayer, before offering up my own personal prayer requests, ending in thanksgiving. This is followed by devotional reading, Scripture reading and Bible study. Some days, I call one of my Pastors to either ask questions or discuss what I’ve read. This how I spend my days and Life Long Learning goes on. I always pray every day, even if on and off on “sick days.” I don’t have to read or be able to see for this. Only a small amount for names at times. I do always refer to the prayer notebook daily, on “better” days. With the migraines and other issues, I check back often when I’m okay again.

    I’m thankful to come here and read the thoughts and experiences of my UR siblings and friends.

    I have back to back doctor’s appointments Wednesday and Thursday this week. Wednesday is the pulmonary doctor and my Pastor is trying to arrange her schedule to accompany me. These drs told me last summer that I had no breathing issues. With me being an asthmatic for twenty-five yesrs! Well, they can’t say this now as I’m on two inhalers, breathing treatments, on oxygen unless I’m sitting or laying down, and even then, sometimes. Oxygen numbers so low at times. So I need someone to back me up, just in case. I’m praying for answers and a good prognosis. Thursday is a specialist for a life threatening condition, if left untreated, and I’m praying to get ahead of it. The neurologist and gastroenterologist are later this month and next month and the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is next week. And I haven’t even scheduled the orthopedic doctors yet. I’m not healthy enough. So, I’m asking for the prayers of many. And that a massive migraine doesn’t prevent me from getting to there. It’s impossible to leave the apartment, with the vertigo, gastro issues, lights and sounds and blurred vision that accompany them.

    Thank you for listening. The debilitation can’t go on, and the burden is too heavy.

  • Marcy July 9, 2018, 8:13 pm

    Jill, I am keeping Gloria, Larry, Becky and her family and Roger in my prayers. Your Mom and your relationship with your sister are included as is your friend, Leslie.

    Robert, I’m glad you had a blessed day yesterday at church and with Erich. I am praying he goes with you to counseling. Praising God, as you had a good doctor’s visit today, just a few things left to follow up. Praying safe travel for your daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters. I continue to keep all you, Erich, Annaliese, all your family, including Pearl, in my prayers. Thank you for your prayers.

    Julie, I am praying for you and your daughter, your three cats, if I got it right, Pooka, Chai, and Tazzie, who sounds like a….riot, your lawyer and (the “husband” to leave you be). Thank you for your prayers for me and answering my question about your delightful cats! This has lightened my day today!

    Mary. I’m keeping your parents and all your family, your student and colleagues in my prayers.

    I pray faithfully for you all, Betsy, Connie, Andrea, Lou, April, Francesca, Pamela, Ami, Rusty and K, Chloe and Paige, Carol and Robin and all who visit Reflections. Your needs and concerns are known by our heavenly Father.

    I’m having a challenging day today and am trying to lay it at the foot of the cross. I’m apprehensive, when I shouldn’t be, because my Abba, Father hears my cries and I am calmed, but still feeling down.

    As always;
    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!
    May God bless you all!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling July 10, 2018, 6:55 am

      Thank you so much dear Marcy!

      Keeping you in prayer too. May you health improve and may all your needs be met!

      Have a wonderful week ahead!

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