Feeling & Listening Prayer
Emotional pain isn’t something to avoid or deny. Rather, emotions are a place to meet God and open ourselves up to Him in new ways. Emotions are the language of the soul. Often, they are God’s way of coming to us with direction or discipline; or they are our way of drawing near to God, meeting Him in our aches and pains.
Put away your phone and any other distractions, settle into your time/place, and get comfortable. You may want to take a short walk first, or light a candle, or stretch, as a way of easing your soul into a new mode.
Let yourself feel.
- What emotions rise to the surface of your heart, big or small?
- Don’t run away from your “negative” feelings. In the Father’s presence, face each emotion head on, the good, the bad, the ugly. And don’t just think about what you are feeling. Rather, let yourself feel each one, deeply.
- Name each emotion and then let it pass through you.
- Get it all off your chest. Give whatever you are feeling over to God- the good, the bad, the ugly. No filter. The point here isn’t to be good, but to be honest. Different emotions call for different kinds of prayer.
- If you’re happy-celebrate and be glad.
- If you’re grateful, express your appreciation to God.
- If you’re anxious, give your worry over to the Father and ask for His peace.
- If you’re sitting in unanswered questions about your life or future, hold that tension before God. Tell Him how it feels not to have an answer. Don’t force clarity where there is none. Just be patient before God with all that is unclear in your life and unresolved in your heart.
- The Spirit of God has direct access to your mind and imagination. He’s more than able to implant thoughts, images, feelings, and desires into the core of your being.
- Now that you’re quiet before Him, ask Him to speak into your life.
- Is there anything you want to say to me today?
- Is there anything you want me to do today?
- Is there anyone you want me to bless today? In what way?
- What would be pleasing to you today, Father?
- What lies am I believing? Then, after you wait and listen, ask the follow up question:What is the truth you want to replace that lie with?
- How do you see me, Father?
- Sit in questions like these before God, and just see what comes.
- If nothing clear comes to the surface of your mind, simply mediate on a Scripture that speaks of God’s compassionate love for you, such as Psalm 23, John 15 or 17, or Ephesians 1.
- Close with a prayer of gratitude and commit your day (or if it’s evening, your rest) to God.