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)
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