The Ask to Listen series was a great season of posturing ourselves to listen for God. Each Wednesday morning people gathered in the CWC Chapel to practice different listening prayers together such as Lectio Divina, Examen, and centering prayer. During the 25 minutes we gathered, we heard Scripture, worshipped through song, and shared words we were hearing from the Lord.
The Wednesday morning prayer practices were not new to me, however, the privilege of practicing them within community was a new and wonderful experience. I always enjoyed hearing how the Holy Spirit spoke: definitively, directly, and personally to many in the room. It was an uplifting way to start the day and a great bridge from Sunday to Sunday.
Additionally, 35 people of all ages participated in the Ask to Listen Retreat at St. Joseph’s Retreat and Conference Center in Tipton, IN. During this 24 hour retreat we practiced silence and solitude, listened while reading the gospel according to Mark, and encouraged each other in discernment groups.
With the Ask to Listen series, for me, the key word was listen. God has been relentlessly reaching out to me, only for me to be too busy or unable to get alone and hear his call. So it felt like an obvious neon sign when I was invited last minute to this retreat. It was not only a time that made it so easy for me to do what I felt I needed to, get alone and listen, but it was also such an amazing time of fellowship and togetherness with the body of believers God had already been weaving around me. From being given practical knowledge of ways to read and hear the word and having real honest connection with others seeking the same kinds of answers, it made for an incredible encounter with God. It helped me get hungry, it helped me grow and learn about myself, even in such a short time. It was absolutely worth going and I’m blessed to be in a place like CWC where God can send brothers and sisters in Christ to walk along side of me and literally call me to a place of healing and growth.
The Guided Prayer and Retreat were wonderful compliments to the weekly Ask to Listen sermons. I can’t overstate the benefit of being “guided” each Wednesday morning in the various ways of posturing to hear from God. Though these disciplines felt odd and foreign at first, they are now a comfortable part in my listening for His Voice.
Attending the morning prayer services during the “Ask to Listen” series has been one of the most impactful parts of my semester. Taking time for silence, contemplation, and reflection in a communal context truly rewired the way I approach spiritual discernment. As we read and prayed over passages of scripture together, I was reminded each week of God’s faithfulness and presence in the lives of His children—as individuals (and the circles of which we are each a part) and as the larger Body of Christ (here at CWC and as the Church universal). I was postured each week to listen for God’s voice in and through all things, watching for the way He is working in the lives of all His people—even (and especially) those I don’t expect.