Listening Prayer

Listening Prayer

MINDING THE GAP BETWEEN FAITH AND WORKS

Soul Action aims to ‘mind the gap’ between faith and works by creating space which connects Christians to one another and to God’s will for their lives, city and country.

Soul Action believes that prayer – especially listening – is how we begin to bridge the gap between faith and works.  In both the Old and New Testament God is described as leaving heaven to reveal His will to His people – initially as Wisdom, then as the person Jesus, and now by the Spirit.  In The Dynamic of All Prayer, G. Granger-Fleming says:

“Prayer is not so much a means of bringing God to see as we do, and to act as we desire, but rather giving opportunity to the Lord to carry out His great desires and purposes….rich opportunities [await] the soul that comes into line with the holy will of God, and has learnt the art of being awake to His delicate leadings.”

Soul Action believes listening to God with others is one way to become more aware of Him in relation to the poverty and potential that surrounds us. Rather than skipping from faith into action, or sticking at faith, Soul Action seeks to facilitate opportunities to maximise the gap and listen to what God is doing and saying through and to His people.

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PRACTICING LISTENING TO GOD

In an attempt to get in touch with, and deliberately reflect upon, the revelation of God, Soul Action encourages contemplative prayer and informed action.  Although the ultimate aim is to hear God in the everydayness of life, the following meditation may help some to first practice His presence in stillness and space.

John Main, Benedictine Priory of Montreal founder said:

“The all-important aim…is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and more not only a reality, but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, to everything we are.”

For the first 5 minutes of silence people are encouraged to:

  • Sit down
  • Sit still and upright, comfortable and alert, with their backs straight
  • Close their eyes lightly
  • Breathe calmly and regularly
  • Silently, interiorly, say a single word, e .g. sha-lom, reciting it as two syllables of equal length as they breathe in-and-out
  • Listen to the word as they say it, gently and continuously, but not to think or imagine anything – spiritual or otherwise
  • If thoughts or images come, they are to be regarded as distractions; if significant they will most probably come back in the second half of the prayer. Instead people are to let them float away, and – for now – return to simply saying the word sha-lom

Following the first five minutes of silence the Holy Spirit should be invited to speak to people’s imagination through words, scripture, song, poetry and pictures, etc.

You can download a ‘Christian chime’ featuring 5 minutes of silence to rest and five minutes of silence to hear God here – 5 silent 5 prayer


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