Hearing God Through the Year
This book is an invitation to learn to pray and listen to God more deeply so that you can conform your will to his. As you begin your journey through the year, talk to God about your motives for reading this book. Thank him that you don’t have to earn his approval. Tell him about your desire to grow, and thank him for promising to meet you.
At the bottom of each page is an activity that gives you a place to start in responding to the Scripture and accompanying thoughts. That activity may be to reflect, to pray or to meditate. Responding to what God has said to you in the daily meditation is always important. Simply reading something will have little effect on you. The suggestion is just a place to start, however, and you may find yourself praying about what you reflected on, and times of meditation should usually end in prayer too.
Beyond that, you may feel led to journal. Especially if the reflection raises confusion within you, it can be helpful to write your thoughts down on paper. Also, some prayers are better written in a journal because you need to be as concrete as possible in your ideas. And sometimes God will speak to you through reflection and meditation in a way that’s so downright stunning that these thoughts should be recorded and read for several days.
These devotions are not dated; you can start anywhere and move around as you please. The devotions are adapted from Hearing God by Dallas Willard. If you want to read more on these themes, you may want to look for his book.
You’ll find a year’s worth of devotions here, designed to fill six days a week. We choose to offer six rather than seven for a built-in bit of grace as circumstances do sometimes infringe on our devotional time. But you can use the seventh day to go back to some of the “pray,” “journal” and “apply” suggestions you’ll find at the end of the devotion.
We pray that as you read these devotions and reflect on God’s word, you will be able to hear God and to allow his voice to shape your choices and encourage your heart.