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Recently, I posted on how my husband and I struggled with prayer.  These ideas have come from our “getaways” and our goal of morning prayer together.  Hope they serve as a helpful tool for you to go deeper into God’s heart for your marriage, your family, your lives.  

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It’s really simple.  We call it “listening prayer”.  It’s not about presenting a laundry list of requests.  It’s about experiencing God together.  

“The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out…… I am the Good Shepherd and I know my sheep and My own know Me…” John 10:3,14

1. Begin with an open, expectant heart.

We find a comfy spot to settle down with our Bibles and journals out and pens in hand; we quiet our hearts to hear from our Good Shepherd, the One who speaks to us, and leads us.

2. Pray.  

Rather than presenting a laundry list of requests, we ask God personal questions.  (The point is not to get through these questions like a check-list but to get a sense for where God is working, and be attentive to His Spirit at work in our lives.)  

Start by picking ONE of these areas to begin with, and ask Him to speak into that area.

Spiritual Growth/Focus:

  • What part of Your nature/character do You want to reveal to us today?
  • If there is a verse You want to speak to us today, would You bring it to our minds?
  • Is there anyone we need to forgive, any grudge we need to release, any grace we need to extend?

Family life:

  • What are You saying about our family life in this season?  Our activities?  Our focus?
  • What is in Your perspective on each of our kids?  How can we pray for them best right now?
  • When You look at us, how do You envision we serve in the church and in kingdom work in this stage of our lives?

Marriage:

  • Is our marriage experiencing all the goodness You intend for it?  If there is more, how can we experience it?
  • If there are knots of unforgiveness or frustration in our marriage, would You gently show us a starting place where we can unravel them and find unity?

Calling/Careers:

  • What are You saying about our jobs/careers?
  • How have You made us to thrive/produce practical fruit that honors You?
  • How can we be preparing and walking more in tune with our life calling and Your mission?
  • Is there someone You want us to serve/be more connected to in our church/community?

3. Listen.

After we ask God a question, we sit and listen quietly.  It’s not usually more than 5 minutes of listening.

4. Write.

As we listen with open hearts, in faith, we write what we feel we heard from God.

5.  Share.

This part used to feel scary. It’s vulnerable to open up and share this sort of stuff.  But because we value vulnerability and practice it, even if it’s kind of intimidating, we share with each other what we feel we received.  Sometimes it’s groundbreaking.  Sometimes it’s a scripture or a simplistic encouragement, like “I think God is pleased” or “God is with us”.  (Our guiding framework for what we hear from God is that it aligns with Biblical truth from scripture.)

6. Declare.  

After we’ve prayed, listened, written, and shared, we come back to God in prayer and thank Him for the wisdom, the truth, the direction, the encouragement, the clarity He brought.  We declare the truth that He revealed and we pray for grace to stand firm on His promises.

Pray. Listen. Write. Share. Declare.

This “listening prayer” gets us out of our auto-pilot living.  It slows our thoughts, and allows us to get stay on God’s track with the things in our life.  It gives is room to repent, and space to realign.  

Most of all, it gives us the opportunity to grow in spiritual unity and love as we pursue God together.

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