Listening to the Spirit

I was raised and educated in church traditions (Episcopalian and Lutheran) that, in general, pay minimal (or only a certain kind of) attention to the Holy Spirit.  I mean, the Spirit is not ignored in our theology, but typically in these traditions we refer to the Spirit primarily in connection to certain practices and experiences such as baptism and communion and scripture.  I have challenged recently by one of my mentors, however, to become more open to listening to the Spirit — learning to become more aware and attentive to his voice and promptings.  So each day I have simply been praying to the Spirit (something I've never done before), asking for the Spirit to speak and that I might have the ears to listen and respond.  

Yesterday during my morning prayer time I was struggling with the day ahead.  I prayed, as we have been talking about in our church community, the way Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:9-14) and I got stuck on the phrase, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name."  Yesterday was a day when I needed to know and be reassured that God is greater than all things — that God is in control.  So I just hung out in that part of the prayer for a while and then spent some time in scripture.  A buddy and I have been reading Psalms together and one of my readings for the day was Psalm 24 which begins by saying,  "The earth is the Lord’s,a and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;"  What a great word that met me exactly where I was yesterday.  It was like the Spirit's voice was speaking louder than I had ever heard before, yet he was speaking in a place (scripture) where I have always been told he speaks.  This was a great moment of answered prayer.  I am being challenged to listen more attentively — to pay attention to the way the Spirit is speaking and moving both in the ways/places in which I am familiar and those I am not.  

How is God challenging you?

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