Spiel: Pray to Listen

This is part of an ongoing series that celebrates how families from the Church are living out their calling as Household Wells. This month’s focus is Praying.

Every month, our sermon series look at a particular aspect of “Revival”– “Compassion” in January, “Witness” in February … .
But while we switch themes, month to month, they never stand alone. Our monthly Revival themes intertwine.
July’s “Praying,” for example, piggybacks onto May’s “Listening”.

“Last night, I was reading a book by N.T. Wright called ‘Simply Christian’,” church board member Sheila Anderson said during her lifeGroup gathering in May. “And he makes an observation that the Shema prayer of the ancient Israelites that they still pray today (“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. …”), Shema means ‘hear’ or ‘listen’. And it just struck me how God, from the very beginning, has been teaching the Israelites to listen.”

Prayer begins with listening.
The Bible passage for that day’s lifeGroup gathering was Luke 5:1-11, when Jesus calls the first disciples.

“1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”

Simon Peter listened to Jesus, and obeyed.
And, as the lifeGroup noted, that’s so central to our role as Household Wells.
Peg Strange: ““Help us to listen to you, Lord, so that you can know what it is you have specifically for us to do, because you do have specific things for us to do and to say. So that I just pray, Lord, that we would be in your Word, that we would be in fellowship with others, being with others, living together with others, and then being quiet enough to hear what you have for us, and then obeying, doing the thing that you have us for to do.”

Bill Strange, listening to group member Steve Racchini’s announcement that, as a cancer patient in remission, he’d received an antibodies treatment as extra protection against Covid: “Thank you, God, that they were able to give Steve some extra medicine, just in case. I just thank you that you’ve given those skills to the doctors.”

Sheila: “Help us as members of your body to listen to one another. We are one in you, and yet we are divided in so many ways in this country. And it is, I’m sure, breaking your heart to see the way that we are divided. So I just ask that you teach us to listen to each other and to listen to you.”

Bill: “Lord, help us all to go about our week and to look for opportunities to listen, opportunities for people to be heard.”

Dear God, as we continue through this year of Revival, please help us listen for and follow your guidance. Give us compassionate hearts for each other as we bear witness to your great love for all people. And sustain our commitment to follow Your will in every aspect of our lives as we work each day to connect people to life in Jesus. Amen.