Learning to hear God’s voice

This article was written by Nicky de Bie for the March Newsletter

As we come to the end of our New Wine course of six sessions (which began during Advent) it’s good to take a moment to contemplate and evaluate what has been a truly enlightening course lead by Danielle Los and David, our Chaplain. It has been a joy to have been part of the group of about 16 of us, with mixed ages making the input really stimulating. We began each session with coffee and tea and delicious cakes and cookies made by Anna (throughout the course!) – and opened with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide us.

During the first half hour we watched a dvd of the New Wine leader guiding the course, in theory – and in a stimulating and often amusing way – and then with exercises to practice in groups. Could have been a bit scary, but we got off to a good start with words of encouragement for the group and for one another and through a game. And I think because there was such a good raport PTL! with each other we felt able to be open and to give and receive from one another and from God.

At first I thought it a strange idea – that one could learn to listen to God’s voice; thinking you either would hear God’s voice – or not – to put it bluntly! But I learned through the sessions that you/we can learn to be more ‘tuned in’ to God speaking to us, to be more sensitive, and that God may speak to us in many different ways that we may not have been noticing or been aware of. For instance it could be through an impression, through thought, moving images or dreams, through the Bible or even through sympathetic pain. We learnt that it is good to ask (as Samuel was told to do by Eli) “Lord is that you?” and in the case of receiving a revelation/ message – to ask God for an interpretation and to ask what the application may be. In a subsequent session we were guided in asking God to receive a word of encouragement for another person. This comes under ‘prophesying’ and should always be used to build up and encourage we understood. The message is clearly that we should step out into this new area and find out what God wants of us! And above all to keep persevering and not be too afraid to fail. The NW leader encouraged us “God loves the fact that we long to grow in the things of the Spirit”.

At our last session we split into groups to practice praying for one another in turn and then a few minutes of silent prayer when we could note down any image or thought that came to us about that person, which we then shared with the four of us.

The final session has just taken place this last Wednesday evening and was a powerful message of: being available to God – to the leading of the Spirit; as the New Wine trainer urged us; Jesus was constantly available to the Father – and to be active – to seek His faith. An example from the Bible (Luke 8)when Jesus is exhorted to come and heal Jairus’s daughter, yet at the same moment, as the sick woman pressed through the crowd to touch Jesus’s garment; Jesus felt power going out of him and the woman was immediately healed. Jesus was always available to God.

It has been a journey of growing, of sharing with one another and I realize how good this course has been to help with praying with others in the spirit; becoming a channel for God to work through – with words of encouragement and for the building up of each other and to be a blessing to others as God blesses us.

I know we are all thankful for the good guidance we have had, for all that we have been able to receive during the course. Finally fr David and Danielle prayed for each of us that we may increase in the gifts of the spirit.