Ask these questions to help you stop and listen to the great things God has to say specifically to you to encourage, challenge, comfort, & lead your heart.
I love listening to people. When I lived in Tucson, every year the pastor’s family would throw a big open house for Christmas. Tons of people would come in and out of their house that day. Every year, I would find a spot, usually at the kitchen table, and park myself there all day long. Someone would come, sit, eat, we would catch up for awhile, they would move on, and then the next person would come and take their seat and repeat the motions.
The best part of the day was asking questions about them. Not just, “How about this weather?” kind of questions, but things that took the conversation to a deeper level like, “How’s your heart doing?” “What are you struggling with?” “What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?” And when people shared those things, whether the answer was joyful or heartbreaking, it was such a beautiful way to connect with them.
When I think about how much satisfaction and fulfillment I get from simply listening to friends, I notice how that is not the same dynamic I bring into my relationship with God.
I’m the talker there.
I’m the one singing His praises, throwing out prayer requests, and spilling the depths of my heart. And all of those things are vitally important to the relationship, but it’s not the only component.
That’s not a conversation. It’s not a two-way connecting of hearts. That connection also requires me to stop and listen for His voice.
It seems so simple to just give Him a turn to speak, but getting my mind to slow down enough to hear Him is another story. Even when I’m not stressed, my mind just races around jumping from thought to thought and creating a lot of noise.
That makes it pretty difficult to hear his still, small voice.
Stop & Listen Questions
I still want there to be plenty of praise, thanksgiving, prayer requests, and sharing my heart with Him, but I don’t want it to end there. I don’t want my relationship with God to just look like me talking at Him.
There are a few open-ended questions I have been trying to pray regularly to practice opening up those opportunities to hear from him.
Lord, what do you want me to focus on today?
Where are you leading me today?
What would you like to tell me right now?
Is there anyone you would like to lay on my heart to pray for or serve today?
How can I best use my time to serve You?
God, is there a verse you’d like to bring to the forefront of my mind today?
How can I draw nearer to You today?
And then the most important part of all is stopping to listen for His answers, a skill I still need a lot of work on! Do your best not to let your mind race or jump to your to-do list or other distractions. Just listen. I take a few deep breaths and close my eyes as I wait to help calm my thoughts and just focus on Him alone.
Just a few minutes of listening time not only adds a dose of peace and stillness to your life but you just never know what God has in store to tell you.