Many religious denominations incorporate a Lenten discipline of “giving up” something as a symbol of self-denial, encouraging us to be prayerful when we think of the object of our desires.
This year I’ll be “giving up” my busyness. I’ll be participating with my church in a different Lenten focus where we will “rest from our busyness” with no weekday programming during the evening hours. Some activities will need to continue such as the weekly choir rehearsal, but otherwise, the church will go quiet at the end of the workday. Our chapel is always open 24/7 and I plan to take advantage of the quietness in the evening by going there with the time, energy, and focus, to rest and to “listen to the voice of God.”
In 1 Samuel 3, Samuel hears God’s voice calling when he is at rest, not when he is engaged in fervent, energetic activity. Perhaps we are most able to hear God’s voice when we are at rest, too.
There isn’t a prescription on how to know what God is saying in our lives, but we can establish conditions which sharpen our attentiveness: intentionally freeing ourselves from the cares and busyness of everyday life, and then being open and willing to hear God’s voice in our lives, trusting God for direction.
Beginning on February 29th, we’ll have an evening prayer gathering on Wednesdays during Lent at 6:30PM in Johnson Hall as a meditative time for reflection on how God is speaking in our lives. This will provide us with the space to listen to his voice. On February 29th and March 28th, we will also have opportunities for healing prayer.
Will you rest with me this Lent so that we can listen for God’s voice in our lives?