Monday, March 18, 2024 – Day 34

March 18, 2024

Then the Lord said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. —1 Kings 19:11–12

We often expect God to speak to us in tremendous moments. In the spectacular power of wind, fire and earthquakes God speaks. Yet, my experience has been more in the gentle breeze, glowing light or easy movement. The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd reminds us to be more listener than talker. Isn’t it awesome to contemplate the various shepherds allowing their sheep to mingle with other sheep in the common pen. When morning comes, each shepherd calls their sheep, and their sheep respond to the call. If I’m busy with my own agenda, I sometimes miss the call. Today’s reflection is a reminder to know the shepherd’s voice and listen. 

The questions posed by Michael White and Tom Corcoran set a tone to practice listening in prayer. God is speaking. 

Has there ever been a time you have heard from God? 

What scripture verses about listening in prayer speak to your heart? 

When in your day can you cultivate silence so you can hear from God?

God has voiced His will to me regularly in my life. Most times, I try to listen and follow God’s voice. Sometimes, I have missed God’s voice, but he is persistent. The earliest time I absolutely knew God was speaking to me was in my early twenties. I had very different plans for life when I graduated from college. I had no plans to enter the seminary, much less become a priest.  Oh, God used people to gently and sometimes in my face, say, “Mike, you should be a priest.”  Finally, after saying no numerous times, I began to acknowledge God’s voice and calling. Finally, I responded, “speak Lord, I’m listening.”

It reminds my of the call of Samuel. Samuel is discerning God’s voice and finally responds:

So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel! 

Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” -1 Samuel 3:9-10

My time can be early morning or afternoon. The quietness of those times lends to listening. Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.