Fuller Formation Groups have a mission to help people grow in their spiritual formation while doing so alongside others. One way this is accomplished is through the use of regular practices. Regular practices are repeated practices that help enrich and enhance our relationship with God, with those around us, and bring participation in God’s mission. Many of our partners, such as Living Water International, who build communities by linking arms with individuals and faith communities to end the global water crisis, have gone through our Regular Practices throughout their Formation Groups Experience. Allan Serunkuma, a small group mentor from Living Water Africa, shared, “The listening practice was my favorite highlight of the Formation Groups experience. The quiet moments that came from the practice brought moments of deep intimacy in my relationship with God.”

If you have not had a chance to personally participate in regular practices, we encourage you to do so!

Our executive director, Brian Wallace, explains the practice as follows: “Listening is critical to our formation – we need to listen to scripture, to the Spirit, to one another, and to our own stories. Listening requires deliberate attention, reflection, and humility.”

An exercise that falls under the listening practice is called Listening Prayer. In listening prayer, we invite the Holy Spirit to speak to us in the context of community. The goal of the exercise is to spend time listening to God with others about a specific question, idea, or situation.

When we engage in Listening Prayer, we are trusting the Spirit to speak and trusting the community of God’s people to help us both listen to God and discern truth from falsehood.

We invite you sometime in the next few weeks to try out Listening Prayer for yourself or any other practices that may seem fitting for your life.

A suggested practice that we use for the Listening Prayer is as follows: 

  1. Invite prayer, either generally or about the member’s lament, question, or situation. Begin with a very brief description of what you want to pray about. Be sure there is clarity among your group. Ask only enough questions so that you understand clearly. (2-3 mins max)
  2. One person prays and invites God to speak; the one being prayed for can also invite God to speak to their life. (<1 min)
  3. The community listens quietly. (3 mins)
  4. People share whatever they hear. It is ok not to hear anything. The community can ask questions for clarity. The person being prayed for can respond with questions, resonance, clarification. (5 mins)
  5. The person being prayed for invites the community to pray more about something that was heard.
  6. The community listens quietly. (3 minutes)
  7. The group or individual shares anything they want to and then closes in prayer for the individual.
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