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Listen, Love and Pray Copyright Russ Parker 2017
Jesus the Listener The Power of Listening for Healing
Jesus the Listener
Old Testament Background Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6 v 4+5
Old Testament Background A formative exhortation from God. Hear is mentioned 92 times in Deuteronomy. The Hebrew word shama is a complex word although we translate is as ‘hear. ’ Shama can mean to hear intelligently…often with the implication of attention or obedience; often resulting in telling. Jonathan Sacks
Old Testament Background In Hebrew culture knowing comes from listening rather than seeing. When we understand something we say “I see. ” Listening however, implies community and relationship. NB Elijah and the still small voice. Crowds are moved by great speakers but lives are changed by great listeners. Jonathan Sacks
1. Listening lies at the heart of our spiritual and personal growth Prayer is governed by a massive assumption that someone is listening Cf. 2 Chron. 7 v 11 f: heart, eyes, ears Transfiguration encounter: “This is my beloved son, listen to him. ” Mk. 9 v 7
2. Listening is a resource for Jesus’ well being His Baptism: Luke 3 v 21 -23 a Meeting the needs of affirmation and identity The Raising of Lazarus: John 11 v 38 -44 Bestowing courage and confidence/taking of risks
3. The Unwritten but defining factor in the ministry of Jesus The Leper: Mark 1 vs 40 -end The well known woman: Luke 7 vs 36 -end Emmaus Road: Luke 24 vs 13 -35 He listened, loved and prayed!
Jesus also listens to group stories. The 7 churches in the Book of Revelation Cities: O Jerusalem! Luke 17
4. Listening is the first discipline of mission. The church is the new acoustic community William Storrar: Scottish Identity Listen. . . connect. . . proclaim Reconciliation requires dialogue and dialogue is impossible without listening.
5. Listening is to be in a place of exposure. If the cross tells us anything it is that this is the place where Jesus listened best.
Time to Listen
Listening Together in Twos 20 Minutes Speaker You are invited to speak for up to 5 minutes to share a time when you were listened to well and to share any of the benefits you found from this time. Listen with full attention, but not saying anything except the usual “hmms” etc. Please do not comment or help out. Listener When the speaker has finished, ask the following 2 questions. After each one, reflect back what has been said as accurately as possible, using the speaker’s own words.
Listening Together in Twos What do you think is the most important part of what you have said? Is there anything you would like to do about it? Would you like to pray about the action you are going to take?
Listening Together in Twos Guidelines Take a moment in silence to ask yourself how it felt to be listener/speaker Change over, the speaker becoming the listener etc. The Listener is the timekeeper If appropriate, pray with and for each other Keep confidentiality If there is time, share in your twos what you found helpful or challenging
The Power of Listening
There is a rise of ‘non listening’ among individuals and society. We are losing the ability to listen-in -depth and as a result there is increasing depersonalization and a corresponding number of people who feel themselves disenfranchised. This can and does lead to violence, towards oneself and others. Bill Kirkpatrick: The Creativity of Listening, pxi
People talking without speaking. . . people hearing without listening. Simon and Garfunkel: The Sound of Silence
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them Ralph Nichols
In contrast, being heard empowers us to gain a greater sense of worth and affirms our innate dignity. Bill Kirkpatrick: The Creativity of Listening, p xi
My Reaction - When I am not listened to! angry frustrated diminished bullied
My reaction - When I am listened to! relieved loved significant helped
At least once in our lifetime we will need to tell our story and know that we have been heard. Russ Parker
Story Telling When I tell you my story I am sharing the window I look out from upon life.
Story Telling When I tell you my story I am making myself vulnerable.
Story Telling When I tell you my story I am inviting you to hear me, know me and honour me.
Story Telling When I tell you my story I am inviting you to connect with me.
Story Telling When you listen to my story you help me clarify the conclusions and consequences I am living with.
Listening for Healing
Listening in the Ministry of Jesus His approach to healing Case Notes for the healing of the blind The man born blind: John 9 Blind Bartimaeus: Mark 10 v 46 -52 The blind man at Bethsaida: Mark 8 v 22 -26 Reflection: Why the different care routines?
Listening in the Ministry of Jesus His approach to welcome and restoring The well known woman: Luke 7 v 36 -50 What do you notice about the different reactions of Jesus and Simon?
Listening for Healing A model for prayer ministry Based on Mark 1 v 40 -44 1. Get into groups of two. 2. Each in turn will share a prayer request for themselves or another. 3. The Listener will then pray, with the laying on of hands, summarizing and using as many of the Speaker’s words as seems appropriate. 4. When both of you have prayed, feel free to share any reflections of that way of praying before rejoining the group.
Listening for Healing
Healing Wounded Churches
Healing wounded churches q The Dialogues of Jesus q Summarising the story q Challenges and consequences q Exhortation and promise