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Listening: Recommended Resources

About Listening

  • The folks from Bible Project created this video exploring the Hebrew word shema—a word often translated as “hear” but conveying a meaning so much deeper.
  • Adam McHugh’s book The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in an Age of Distraction received Christianity Today's 2017 Book of the Year Award in the category of spiritual formation.
  • Ears to Hear, Hearts to Obey by Dale Cooper shows how the process of carrying out God’s will begins with the ear.
  • The Most Overlooked Spiritual Discipline by Daniel Raynaud and Paul Bogacs on provides solid insights from Scripture on the faith practice of listening.
  • In his sermon Befriending Silence, Pastor Rich Villodas explores the importance of silence to our spiritual life and leads the congregation of New Life Church in New York City through a 15-minute guided experience with silence.
  • Modern Devices and Ancient Disciplines by Derek C. Schuurman on asks how technology might be shaping our ability to contemplate (and by extension our ability to listen well).
  • What does God's voice sound like? How does God speak to us today? In this episode of Open to Wonder, spiritual director Summer Mohrlang responds to these questions and more.

Listening to God

  • 8 Ways God Speaks to Us Today by Rebecca Barlow Jordan on helps broaden our understanding of how to listen.
  • In the blog post How Does God Talk? Scott Reall reminds us that the voice of God is not characterized by shaming, accusing, or blaming, but by love.
  • How to Practice Listening to God by Margaret Feinberg on explores the art of listening in silence for God to speak.
  • Barriers to Hearing God is a helpful excerpt from the book Hearing God by Dallas Willard.
  • Cultivating Attentiveness to God’s Presence by Tom Schwanda on reminds us that “God is always present; it is we who need to be awakened to God’s presence.”
  • Listening Prayer Helps You Hear God More Clearly by Jim Harrison on introduces a prayer practice that helps us “be still and know.”
  • This helpful sermon on meditation by Pastor Robert A. Arbogast explores how meditating puts us in the presence of God so that we can hear God’s voice. It was delivered at Celebration Fellowship, a CRC multisite prison fellowship in Ionia, Michigan.

Listening to Each Other

Listening Facilitators

Sometimes listening well involves partnering with people with specialized training, like a pastor, chaplain, or therapist. We can benefit from inviting them to listen alongside us. The Spirit may also be calling some of us to gain additional training in how to help people listen well to God and each other. Here are few other types of listening facilitators that you may wish to consider:

  • Spiritual directors are trained in the art of listening, and their goal is to help people listen to God’s voice. Finding a spiritual director often happens by word of mouth, or you can consult lists like this one from the Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association.
  • Mediators are trained in helping opposing parties listen to each other for the purpose of conflict resolution.
  • Listening circles are especially helpful when a group needs to process a difficult topic together. Training in facilitating a listening circle is available through organizations such as the International Institute for Restorative Practices.