Observing, noticing, listening: These practices can keep us from making false assumptions about people and about our mission field. Our ears can keep us from answering questions no one is really asking, so that we can get to the ones they are asking. Listening also wins us favor with folks who generally appreciate it when we take a heartfelt interest in them. Little wonder that Jesus drew others into his mission: They felt heard.
Immanuel, “God with us,” was more than a bumper-sticker slogan in Galilee. People experienced a deep connection with Jesus because he listened.
—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter’s Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2020)
Who do you need to listen to more closely in order to develop a deeper connection?
Join the conversation.
[Jesus] said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
—Luke 11:28 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Teach me, Lord Jesus, to listen as you did. Help me to be slow to speak, slow to judge, and quick to hear. Open my ears so that I can sense both the cry for help around me and your Spirit more clearly, that I might follow you more completely. I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
We invite you to listen as Pat Luna, retreat leader for The Academy for Spiritual Formation at Camp Sumatanga, reflects on how she is finding—rather than creating—daily life with God. Take a moment to listen here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.