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A  Friend Within

         Listening to Jesus speak through the scriptures

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“Never say, sing or read a prayer without first becoming aware of your God.”

A Friend Within, Page 221.

Listening to the inspired word

When you read a verse from the scriptures, your natural tendency is to focus on the meaning of the words. This is important but there is something far greater that is happening to you. Jesus is close to you and is looking directly at you.You are listening to God speak to you about the personal things in your life.

The stories about the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are about you. You are not just reading about what happened to others. You are listening to what is happening to you in your life. Just reading the text is like owing a car with no engine. You must listen to the God who is speaking to you.

It takes time to appreciate this new way of listening. It is one of the most difficult parts of prayer. It is a real struggle to say nothing when you are so used to using words in prayer. Listening makes you aware that a human friend is present. You need to relax and enjoy Jesus' presence. Be still and let his thoughts come to you. Listening takes the attention away from yourself and what you are thinking. It allows the presence and words of Jesus to enter your heart and possess you.

One of the great dangers in reading a biblical verse is to glance at the words and realize that you have read it before. Then, because you know what it means, you carry on reading the next sentence. The power of the verse only emerges when you are aware that you are not just reading, you are listening to a person speaking directly to you about your life.