June 26, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.”


1 Samuel 3:10-11


How do we listen for God’s voice? I asked my Overflow group to start with: “How do you demonstrate that you are listening to someone?” They replied with these observations:

  • For active listening, you need a place with no distractions and the ability to hear.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Ask gentle questions.
  • Stop doing other things.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Be curious about what they are saying; ask them to explain further.
  • Offer verbal acknowledgement along the way.
  • Reflect back what you heard.
  • Pause; follow what’s being said.
  • Listen for the stress points.
  • Adopt the humility to just “be” with them; let them talk; sit with them.


And yet, the thought of seeking God’s voice is intimidating, almost too powerful to absorb. It took a young child, Samuel, to simply offer himself.


Next, I asked my group to tell their own stories of experiencing God’s voice in their lives. They spoke of circumstances like job changes, relationship changes, health changes, seasons of loss and trial. Then we identified the common elements in all the stories: what were the common conditions in hearing God’s voice.


  • They were times of loss or emptiness.
  • Something made us ready to hear.
  • It was quiet.
  • There was a peace, right before I heard him.
  • It was always an unexpected announcement from him.
  • A turning point was made clear.
  • A need was reassured.
  • God’s voice was definite.
  • We felt certainty and comfort.


And then there was this quote:

“Hearing God’s voice is like hearing the book I’m reading.”


We can learn SO MUCH from each other when we quiet our hearts and learn how to listen, to each other and to God; but first we have to seek that fellowship with our community and with the God who loves us. Today is a day for seeking.

For Reflection

When have you felt as though you were really heard? How did the listener show you they were listening?


Have you sought God’s voice? How can you make yourself ready to hear him?


Oh God, I am ready to hear you. Help me to be still. Help me to wonder about you, to seek you in your Word, to receive you through the offerings of those around me. Give me simple wisdom to know it is your voice calling me. Help me to notice your presence beside me this day and all days. Amen.

Mary Hoffman
Senior Music Ministry Director