As we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, we also need to quiet our souls to hear His counsel. I challenge you this week to find even 5-10 minutes a day to sit with the Holy Spirit in silence and listen.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. ~Proverbs 19:20 (ESV)
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5 Steps for Listening for the Holy Spirit:
1) Find a Quiet Place
Carve out a few minutes of your day when you can be alone and quiet. Find a quiet place where you can relax and won’t be disturbed – a comfy chair, outside in your yard, in a bubble bath. When my kids were babies, I’d often have my quiet time with God while I rocked them to sleep.
2) Start With A Prayer
Start with a brief prayer for the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart, for this time to connect you to God. Maybe as simple as, “Come, Holy Spirit. Come, speak to my heart.” Remember this is not a time for prayer, but a time for listening.
3) Clear your mind
A million thoughts are likely to pass through your mind as you begin to sit in silence. Like butterflies flitting through your mind, acknowledge them and then allow them to keep flying by. Don’t stop to converse with those thoughts or focus on your to-do lists.
Another technique is to focus your mind on an image as you settle into the silence. Maybe an image of a candle that grows brightens and dims as you inhale and exhale. Or, just focus on your breaths as you inhale and exhale.
Sometimes I’ll use background noise to help drown out my thoughts. The rhythmic rocking of a rocking chair, the humming of whirlpool jets on my bathtub, or gentle background instrumental music (just not anything you’ll be tempted to sing along with).
4) Settle into Silence
As you quiet your inner monologue, settle into the silence. Some of us are more comfortable in silence than others, but try to relax and accept the silence. Just soak in the stillness and quiet and give this time to God.
5) Don’t Give Up
Don’t get frustrated or give up if you don’t hear something from the Holy Spirit each time. Keep trying. Sometimes I think we just need those moments of quiet to be near God. Other times, maybe He’ll fill us with an image, speak words to us or lay a thought on our hearts.
“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” ~John Bunyan
This post is part of a 4 week series about the Holy Spirit. Click HERE for other posts in this series.
This series will look at topics such as:
– Inviting the Holy Spirit to begin working within us
– How to listen for the Holy Spirit
– What it means to obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit
– How obedience is linked to trust
– How the Holy Spirit equips us, even when we don’t feel qualified
– What impact we can have in the world when we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit
Lisa Koster says
I find it helpful to have a pen and notebook handy so when those thoughts pop into my head, such as that thing I needed fromt he store, I can jot it down and forget it rather than put my focus into remembering it. Thanks for the great reminders!
Great idea to capture those interrupting thoughts and get them out of your head!
Sabra Penley says
I’m really good at praying–always talking to God. It’s more difficult to be still and simply listen. Thanks for the challenge and encouragement, Kathryn.
yes, the being quiet part IS hard! I’m finding it’s harder in certain seasons of life, too. Was much easier when my kids were babies and I had quiet time while putting them to bed. These days, there’s not much quiet in my life and it’s harder to carve out the time and space.
I love this and I’m so happy I stumbled upon it through the Fellowship Friday link-up. I just started a fast: a Facebook and Instagram fast, because I want to draw closer to God and hear more from him. I’ve noticed the fruit that comes from silencing the mind. Sometimes to the point of a light sleep, but not. I’ve had visions in those moments. I’m hungry for more! Great post! Blessings xo
So glad you stumbled here! Welcome! great idea to quiet the social media to hear Him better – that’s definitely a distraction!
Julie Lefebure says
Kathryn, this is great! I struggle with the “Don’t Give Up” step sometimes. I get impatient when I don’t hear something immediately. Thank you for these beautiful steps and reminders!
That’s the hardest one for me, too! I get frustrated in those times and seasons where I’m not hearing much, but I know when I just keep engaged I’ll start to hear HIm again. Just have to keep reminding myself to keep at it.
Kathryn – I LOVED the quote by John Bunyan! I am writing it down in my journal so I always have it. So glad I came to visit you back 🙂 May you have a great weekend!
I think I need to hang that quote up in my office! Was so glad to find it. Glad you liked!
This is a great series! I liked:“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” I’ve never heard it quite like that. Thank you!
Kaylene, glad you stopped by! I thought that quote was wonderful, too! Glad you liked it!
This is such a great series to write about, Kathryn. I’ve always been fascinated by the Holy Spirit and what could be greater than to connect with Him more? Thank you for these tips. Finding quiet time is definitely a challenge with little ones, but necessary. Often, I use shower time. 😉
Yes! The shower has become one of my favorite quiet time places, especially now that my kids are old enough to leave me alone in the bathroom 🙂
Wanda W. says
Kathryn, living alone I’m quite used to quietness but even still I’ve learned that in being in a quiet place does not been my mind and soul is in truly in quieten where I can hear the voice of God. I appreciate the practical steps you outline.It’s something we have to learn to practice more and more.
Thank you for this reminder, Kathryn. It’s too easy to forget to just sit and listen for His voice. I get too busy “looking” for it. I’m going to accept your challenge this week. Blessings to you!