Lent 2024 | Day 21

By Janet Nygren
Day 21 (Friday, Mar 8)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:19-21)

Think about it.

We left off yesterday thinking about balcony people–people who will say “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” (Eph 4:29) James gives us something helpful to think about in this regard. We must understand someone’s needs first, in order to say something helpful. That requires listening well before giving our own opinion. Remember, our focus this week is not being insistent on our own opinions. That includes good thoughts, not just feisty ones. Sometimes, even when we’re right, it’s more loving to be silent, to understand a person enough to be able to say “I get it.” We are never called to take the place of the Holy Spirit.


Have you evaluated your ability to listen well recently? We all benefit from hearing checks occasionally. We think we’re listening, but suddenly realize our minds have drifted to something else–another conversation nearby, the thing we forgot to do this morning, the perfect retort, our own parallel story that we can’t wait to share–all of which keep us from truly hearing another person. Try turning on your “listening radar” this week and see how you’re doing.

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help me trust you.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” (Epictetus)

  1. Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/


Nick Tebordo - March 8th, 2024 at 5:13am

I loved, “We are never called to take the place of the Holy Spirit.” I will ponder this as I seek to listen to others. I want to speak only if guided by the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for Fresh Fire last night! I believe that God is guiding as people “come home”. Those were the the words of Bob and Robin Demers who came last night. They expect to be at Matthew 25 this week. Holy Spirit, we honor and bless Your Name. Thank You for the blessings being poured out.

Linda - March 8th, 2024 at 7:34am

I'm quite guilty about "half" listening. My mind can run ahead of the conversation thinking of responses or questions then I lose some of the conversation. Lord help me to become more of a listener rather than a responder. Help me to keep my mind focused on listening.




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