prayerscapes - creative journeys in worship and prayer

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Monthly Archives: January 2020

How To Hear From God

Dramatic sSunset in mountains

We all need vision. We all need to be able to look forwards and feel hope arise in our hearts. So if you are in a place where your vision has faded a little, where you are not sure of the next steps, or if you are finding it hard to look forward with certainty and hope, I stand alongside you today and seek to help you in bringing about change and renewal. Life is multifaceted, it is complex! We live in the beauty of God’s intention for us but also the fall of the world. For some of us, we are seeking God for a specific area of our lives but for others there may be a significant reason for a general loss of vision. This can occur for many different reasons such as illness, grief, disappointment, hurt, conflict, confusion and doubt. These are all vision suppressors. So how do we pray to God at these times? How can we move to a place where there is revelation, renewal and change? I thought I would share with you a three-step creative exercise that I find useful in these times. Hopefully this will help you to hear from God for your life as well.

1. Firstly, it’s important to be really honest before God. Come to him just as you are, you need not pretend to be anything. Find a time where you can be self-aware and God-aware, a peaceful moment in the home, a long walk or a drive in the car. Be truthful and admit to yourself and your heavenly Father how you feel! Talk to Him about the areas of your life you need new vision in.  Allow the Holy Spirit to help you unpack your feelings, your uncertainties, and your options. Take your time, be gentle and kind to yourself. It might be a while before you can search out what you are really facing or asking for direction in. One helpful way to record these feelings is to draw out a big question mark, then write how you feel, your confusion, the possible different pathways or just the words ”I need to hear you!” on the inside. This helps to frame our reality not in stone but as a question. I find this opens the door to the possibility of revelation and of change, and new vision.

2. The second thing to do is to draw a dream cloud, then write or draw in there a picture of where you hope your life could be. God works with us and through us, not despite of us or by force. We are taught to pray Abba Father, and like any dad would, God wants us to dream! However, also like any father would, he wants our dreams to move, evolve and change, so that they come alive with His kingdom heart. He wants our dreams to be real and achievable, so that we find contentment and peace. Sometimes we hold onto an ideal in our minds and will not let go! We allow ourselves to compare our lives to a dream ideal, always falling short. It’s only human to measure our lives in this way. However, we are taught by Jesus “do not worry about tomorrow”(Matthew 6:34). We are taught to take each day as it comes. The truth is God can give us vision wherever we are, whatever the landscape looks like, whatever the time or season is in our lives, and whatever obstacles lie before us.

3. Lastly, write in multi-colour! You have a chance to dream afresh at this moment in your life, so lay out your question mark, and your dream cloud. Now take some coloured pens, pencils or paint and get ready to put down afresh your Fathers’ insights! In this moment listen to your heart and thank God for your life! Listen to the sounds around you and thank God for the place you are in today. Now dwell upon all that you hold, every aspect of your life and commit these things to God. The truth is that our dreams are the vehicle for God’s dreams! So, begin to write in colour this time for your hopes in work, in relationships, in finances, in leisure time and in ministry. For those who have been robbed of vision by a life storm this might be hard, so just begin by writing in colour one thing that might be a small hope for tomorrow, even if it’s just a nap! Or maybe it’s just a moment to relax, watch telly, a hug, or a new novel to enjoy. It’s OK to both start small and it’s also OK to go big! Get a promotion, fall in love, feel well! Now ask God what he would want for you……sense his peace, let yourself see what God sees. See your life illuminated by hope and possibility!

I must confess, I’ve not always been able to do this when in a dark place. Just wait it out…. give yourself grace…. then the moment you feel things clear a little have a go at waiting on God in this way. We are children of the living God. He will lead us through our lives and through death into new life so don’t allow vision to leave you for too long. Come as you are to the Creator of the universe and ask for renewal. I often pray ahead and ask that when I am near to the end of my earthly life, that I would be given a vision for my life in heaven. I imagine there will be all kinds of new colours to paint and new instruments to hear, and so many wonderful things to turn my hand to!

So to sum up, try these three steps out. Begin by being honest with God and try writing a question mark and making a note of how you feel and anything that you find confusing at the moment. Then draw a dream cloud and write in it what you are dreaming for. Finally, change your pen and write around this cloud in multi-colour the different things that you are hoping for.

Do feel free to comment below on your experiences on hearing from God. We would love to read them and for you to share them with this community here. Don’t forget to subscribe to us if you haven’t yet, and until next time, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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