31 Days: Listening to the still small voice

Under the Gum TreeHere’s part of a journal entry I came across the other day. Although it was nearly 20 years ago, I still remember this as a significant moment in my spiritual journey. In need of some rest and refreshment, I had taken a week off to get away by myself. This entry came towards the end of that week. It was good to read it again, fresh on the page. Even back then God was speaking to me about listening.

10 August 1995

I lay under a huge old gum tree today, finally willing and quiet enough to hear that still small voice. As I stared up at the huge branches I heard God speaking to me, reminding me gently of some fundamental truths that I’d lost sight of.

It’s not about becoming more spiritual or doing the right thing but about developing a relationship with God, coming to know God as Father, Jesus as brother and friend (as well as Saviour and Lord), and the Holy Spirit as Comforter and Guide (I know that’s a very limited description).

It takes time to get to know someone really well – and so it is with God. I need to make opportunities to spend time with Him; especially to stop and listen.

 And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
(I Kings 19:11-12)

31 Days to Listen

This is Day 24 of the series 31 Days to Listen.

31 Days: A prayer for listening


As you listen, may you know God’s presence with you. May you hear his still small voice whispering in your heart. May his voice become familiar as a loved one.

May you discover the joy of his presence and may his words bring comfort and healing to the places that are wounded and broken.

May he reveal himself to you in ways you don’t expect. May you discover the beauty of his character, and the depth of his love for you.

And as you listen, may your soul and spirit rise in love and praise for Him, who is worthy of it all.

This is my prayer for you.

31 Days to Listen

This is Day 14 of the series 31 Days to Listen.

31 Days: Be still and Listen

Eucalyptus flowers

Be still and know that I am God.

Lord, for many years I’ve been drawn to know your still small voice. And it is when I come to the end of my own strength, when I stop struggling and fighting, when I surrender to you, become still and rest in you, then I can truly hear you.

[When do you find that you hear God speaking to you most clearly?]

31 Days to Listen

This is Day 9 of 31 Days to Listen.

When He whispers …

From my journal tonight, God’s whisper:

Stop being afraid of what I’ve called you to be and to do.

And I am undone.

Lord, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12)

“Cast aside the last vestige of unbelief and embrace that destiny which you feared to accept on account of your limitation. These handicaps are now transcended by the might of My indwelling Spirit.”

quoted from John Gaynor Banks, The Master and the Disciple,
in Leanne Payne, Listening Prayer.

Here I am Lord.

May my heart will my feet to step out in faith.

Journalling my walk with God

In the Stillness

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation. I will be honoured throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10

You can be standing perfectly still, but inside you’re a ball of turmoil, or filled with rising anxiety or impatience.

If you’ve ever played a game of statues, you know that the harder you try not to move, the more your body desperately wants to do exactly that. And the longer your body stays still, the more your muscles yell in protest. Our bodies are designed to move.

So it seems an impossible ask to be still long enough to hear God’s whisper, to know his presence, to know that he is God.

But being still before God is not so much about being physically still (although that may be helpful), but about cultivating an inner stillness. A stillness that allows me to be present to God, to be aware of what he is doing, to listen to what he is saying.

I read once that Jesus has a ‘leisured heart.’ I’ve always liked that phrase – a leisured heart. It speaks to me of someone who is in no hurry, someone who is at peace with himself and his circumstances, someone who is fully present to the moment, someone who has cultivated an inner stillness.

Only someone like that would be able to sleep in a fishing boat through the middle of a storm, as it fills with waters and looks like sinking.

Only someone like that would be able to walk on water while the wind and waves whipped up around him.


This inner stillness is not dependent on outer circumstances.

When I am rushing, when I feel the pressure of competing priorities rising, when I’m not sure what to do first, when circumstances threaten to overwhelm, there is an invitation to be still, to acknowledge the Lord’s presence, his love, grace and wisdom, and to listen.

To listen for his still, small voice – his gentle whisper. To honour him.

Circumstances may not change, but my heart will.


Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net