Spiritual Practice

Ways to Listen

Karin Mittman

devozine breath prayer TS 95489896In our culture, there is often more talking than listening. People want to be heard. But by listening, we hear one another and, in turn, we hear ourselves. Listening to others and to God nurtures our relationships and gives us life, but it takes time and effort. Here are four ways of listening that you can practice with your friends and family, as well as in your daily devotions.

  • Listen with your eyes. Look around. What do you see? What time of day is it? What do you notice about your environment? What are people doing? What are they saying with their body language? Where do you see God?
  • Listen with your ears. What do you hear? What noise do you hear in the background? What are people saying? What is their tone of voice? Do their words match their expressions? What is God saying to you?
  • Listen with your heart. Pay attention to feelings, to the emotions evoked in your heart. How are you feeling about your situation? What is your attitude toward other people? Can you respond in love? What are you and others feeling about God?
  • Listen with your mind. Are you able to focus and concentrate? Choose to ignore the things that distract you. Think about what other people are saying, what God is saying. Think about how you will respond.

—from devozine (November/December 2010). Copyright © 2010 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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