Listening prayer helps me to be more rightly related to all things. It also helps me to better attune to God’s rhythm and timing. By nature, I have a tendency to rush things or get an idea in my head and then pursue it like a dog with a bone. I remember once I was offered job opportunities both at a vibrant, growing church as well as in chaplaincy. I wanted both vocations!
During that time, I slowed down to wait on God in prayerful listening in order to discern my calling. During those months, I practiced relinquishing my agenda, my self-will and defering to God. This waiting was particularly challenging for me yet important in forging my faith. It was not a passive waiting but a hopeful trust in His presence and involvement in my life. In waiting, I began to see new possibilities which were not there before. Not only did this space forge a deeper trust in his active presence in my life and a greater freedom from the habit of managing my own life & decisions, I discovered that this waiting led to a new possibility that was not there before!
After 4 or 5 months of waiting on God, I was offered a third option of remaining in my own home church and joining the pastoral staff team there. With this new opportunity, the pieces of the puzzle came together and I had a settled peace that this was where God was leading me. Those months of attending and actively waiting led to new opportunities which were not there before and I have ended up rightly where I did not expect to be.
Learning the art of active waiting… whether it is in discerning vocational call, or waiting for a spouse, a new work direction, or waiting for God’s promises to materialize, we are to take on the attitude of a hopeful receiving from God. Just as importantly, as we listen to His voice leading us, we become more secure with His sufficiency alone and less driven by our fears, temptations and wants. Our transformation into the likeness of Christ requires that we undergo continual heart conversion through knowing him and knowing ourselves more fully.
Thank you to July's guest blogger: Karli Baldwin
Karli as served as a nurse, teacher, mother and in pastoral care of churches. Presently she enjoys working with Mark Swanson and John Smed at Grace Vancouver Church and she focuses on evangelism & discipleship. She and Andrew have 2 children- Anastasia and Luke, 7 and 3, who are a bundles of powerful energy.