Quietness and assurance: Listening for God’s voice

How is it that one can hear God speak when one prays? The Bible shares the experience of the prophet Elijah who heard “a still small voice” after he had experienced a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire (see I Kings 19:11, 12 ). He recognized the “still small voice” as the voice of God, who had led him out of trouble. What made it possible for Elijah and many others in the Bible to hear it? It was apparent that they were receptive and, more importantly, were listening—listening not to physical forces, but to the Christ, the spiritual idea of God. In this receptive spiritual consciousness, there is no room for physical forces or material senses to be heard. 

On page 293 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy discusses this idea when she writes: “There is no vapid fury of mortal mind—expressed in earthquake, wind, wave, lightning, fire, bestial ferocity—and this so-called mind is self-destroyed. The manifestations of evil, which counterfeit divine justice, are called in the Scriptures, ‘The anger of the Lord.’ In reality, they show the self-destruction of error or matter and point to matter’s opposite, the strength and permanency of Spirit.” When we turn away from the material senses in prayer, we find the quietness that allows us to hear and be receptive to the “still small voice,” which brings hope, healing, and regeneration.

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