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Listening and Speaking

 “The A Word” was a recent series on TV here in the UK about an 8 year old boy who had autism. In order to cope with daily life he had a pair of headphones that he wore a lot of the time and he listened to music through them. I imagine for him it drowned out all the “noise” of everyday life that he found confusing and difficult to cope with and created a safe, familiar environment for him.

Sometimes when I go out for a walk by myself, I take my headphones and listen to my daily readings, like Lectio 365 or Bible in one year. Or I put on my praise playlist. But I have to remember not to sing along too loud! The headphones block out all the other noises around me and I can focus much better on what I am listening to. I often keep my headphones on my ears while I pray. It blocks out the worlds distractions and busyness and helps me feel at peace, like I am in a cocoon with God.

I recently got into a very frustrating pattern of waking up around 4.30am. My mind would then start to go around all sorts of things but I realised they were all negative, like a conversation I had the day before or a situation that had arisen and I would doubt myself, that I had said the wrong thing or that I hadn’t said or done the right thing. It always felt discouraging and the day ahead would feel less positive. I recognised that it was the enemy whispering in my ear. He loves to unsettle and undermine us, but he can be very subtle! 

A bit like the physical headphones on my walk, I felt I needed ‘spiritual headphones’ to block out the distractions of the enemy and to focus on Jesus. Jesus is in control. The Bible tells me he is sovereign over my life and over the enemy’s distractions. So I decided when it happened again I would just say “Jesus” and imagine it as a big STOP sign to the enemy. I needed to say it a few times but it really helped! It stopped the negative circling of thoughts, I got back to sleep quicker and I woke up more peaceful!

Sometimes in life we face a myriad of situations which we can feel helpless in. But we can speak the name of JESUS over them. It’s simple but powerfully profound. I tried it with an issue in my family. I was struggling to know how to pray, so simply spoke the name of JESUS over it and felt a real sense of His peace within the situation. 

I pray that I may learn to focus and listen attentively to the voice of my Shepherd and trust in the power and authority of His name over my life.

Liz is an Inspire Missioner in Chesterfield, GB. Alongside her husband, Phil, she is part of the GB Core Team and International Steering Group. Together they mentor Fellowship Bands and are in the process of planting a House Fellowship.

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