LISTEN              vs.                 HEAR

Listen  -                1. to make a conscious effort to hear

                                2. to give heed; take advice

The Greek equivalent to the word listen is found only once in the New Testament. (Acts 2:14)

Hear  -                  1. to perceive (sounds) by the ear

                                2. to listen to and consider

The difference between hear and listen is ones input (the conscious effort)

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Jesus emphasized the importance of the Word in His rebuke of  Satan; He said "It is written"

Jesus says;

28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;

 for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

The Word says;

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Jesus says that if you know Him you will hear him;

27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28And I give unto them eternal life;

and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)



Samuel did not have to listen for God; but since he did not know Him he did not hear Him

7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I;

for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

9Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down:

and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD;

for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak;

for thy servant heareth. (1 Samuel 3:7-10)

Listening Prayer  -  Is it Biblical

                Jesus prayed to the Father

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:

nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39)

                Jesus did not pray outside Gods' will even though He knew God would give it to Him

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)

                Jesus gave us an example not for repetition but what was appropriate to include

9After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

                After the inspired Word was finished, God speaks to us through his Word

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)                                                                                             


And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

And then there is the OVERLOOKED PROPHECY for the END TIME that is often misused


Be still, and know that I am God:

I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalms 46:10)


Pastor Tom, in one of his messages, said that if we asked God to protect us when we were going to do something that God in His Word had warned us not to; He would not because we made our choice. Pastor Tom also said that whenever we ask God for an answer to something that He has already dealt with in His Word, He will be silent; any answer we do receive will likely not be from God.

Sometimes the Lord is silent;

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days;

there was no open vision.  (1 Samuel 3:1)

6And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

7Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.  (1 Samuel 28:6-7)

10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:

and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.  (Leviticus 20:27)

Familiar Spirit  - formerly, a demon or an evil spirit believed to act as an intimate servant

                                - the art of revealing future events by means of alleged communication with the dead

Newer translations of the Bible have switched the word to mediums, meaning those who consult the dead. The KJV reads familiar spirits; familiar being a demon or evil spirit believed to act as intimate servant; and spirit being a supernatural being either good or bad as an angel or demon.


Let no man deceive you by any means:

for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, (2 Thessalonians 2:3a)

And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)

11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders;

insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

But man figures that the Word is not sufficient to attain a deeper relationship with God. He suggests other ways:

A New Age form of mediumship or spiritism. The channeled yields control of his/her perceptual and cognitive capacities to a spiritual entity with the intent of receiving paranormal information.

Contemplative Prayer - from a Biblical perspective
The purpose of contemplative prayer is to enter an  
altered state of consciousness in order to find one's  true self, thus finding God. This true self relates to the belief that man is basically good. Proponents of contemplative prayer teach that all human beings have a divine center and that all, not just born again believers, should practice contemplative prayer.

Listening Prayer - Channeling with a protestant twist
Listening prayer is a form of contemplative prayer which emphasizes listening to God for Christian living and effective ministry. Listening prayer also goes beyond contemplative prayer and personal integration of self by having as its goal listening for guidance, direction, answers and insight often within active ministry beyond oneself.


Dallas Willard
Dallas Willard (having the reputation as a world-class philosopher) attended the first church that Richard Foster pastored. They became close friends and traded off teaching. He also taught a course on the classical disciplines of the spiritual life. The spiritual disciplines are not taught in Matthew 11:29, 30 (Willard's primary proof test), and even Willard admits they cannot be found elsewhere in scripture... Dallas Willard is one of the instructors at Richard Fosters' Renovaré Institute.


Richard Foster
When engaging in contemplative prayer, Richard Foster offers advice about how to discern who might communicate in the stillness. He said:

Learning to distinguish the voice of God . . . from just human voices within us . . . comes in much the same way that we learn any other voice. Satan pushes and condemns. God draws and encourages. And we can know the difference.

Though there could be others, Richard Foster admits to cacophony of possible voices that might speak: first, human voices within and without (a source that could involve hearing oneself speak, in which case, contemplators would be listening to themselves); second, Satan's voice; and third, God's voice.

In order to determine whose voice might be speaking, Foster provides criteria. If the voice is positive and reaffirming, then the voice is God's. If however the voice is that of a bully who "pushes and condemns," then the voice must be that of Satan.

He writes: "[W]e must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation. In their writings, all of the masters of meditation strive to awaken us to the fact that the universe is much larger than we know, that there are vast unexplored inner regions that are just as real as the physical world we know so well. They tell us of exciting possibilities for new life and freedom. They call us to the adventure, to be pioneers in this frontier of the Spirit" (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 13).