We all desire to hear God’s voice speaking to us. In Whole Life Worship, we believe that God speaks to us in various ways: through the inner voice of His Spirit, through others (counselors, spiritual friends, pastors, etc.), and through noticing in the everyday acts and circumstances of life. But one of the most direct ways God speaks to us is through Scripture.
My approach to Scripture in the past has always been the “inductive method.” This is where I examine the text, make observations, pull in the facts for interpretation, and then muse over the application (is there a sin to avoid, a command to obey, a concept to be aware of, etc.) While this is a good method of Scripture study, it has a tendency to be “clinical” in its approach; that Scripture is something to be examined and taken apart so that truths and principles can be derived.
But Scripture is “God breathed,” not only in its inspired composition, but also in its ability to be God’s mouthpiece to our souls in our present readings. While exegeting (examining and interpreting) the Bible is good, it is even more important to allow God, through the Scriptures, to “exegete” us.’’
I’ve written about Lectio Divina as a method where I allow God to speak and exegete me through Scripture (for more on Lectio Divina, click here). But before I begin the Lectio, I begin with a prayer based on a song by my friend, Rory Noland. It goes like this:
Speak, O God, in Your presence I am humbly bowed
Speak, O God, I am longing for a word from You
Speak, O God, speak into my soul
Speak, O God, quietly I wait for You
Then I end with the phrase: Speak, O God, for Your servant is listening.
After each line, I pause, so as to allow those spoken words to saturate my soul with the meaning of each petition. I find that this prayer/song creates both a sense of expectation (that God will speak through the Lectio) and a posture of attentiveness (that my soul is ready to notice and receive whatever God sends my way).
This prayer/song has helped me immensely in noticing God’s voice in Scripture, as well as positioning me to hear God’s voice throughout my day. (By the way, Rory has a CD of his contemplative worship songs entitled “The Lord is in Our Midst.” Click here if you are interested in purchasing a copy).
What helps you prepare to hear God’s voice in Scripture?
How has God been speaking to you lately through the Word?