Not long ago my Facebook account was hacked. For days friends were sending messages informing me that I must have been hacked. A few messages I received were actually touching to me: “I thought I was talking to you, but it didn’t sound like you.” In different variations, I received several comments like that, and I thought, Ah! My friends know my voice. They know when what they’re hearing is not coming from me. I’m sure there were things that were coming through that were a sure tip-off, but I had this realization that that is what discernment is like--being able to tell when what you’re hearing does not sound like it’s coming from God.
Discernment relies on tuning into God’s “voice," God’s movement of your heart, God’s stirring of your spirit. How wonderful when you can begin to tell that something doesn’t sound like God’s voice, doesn’t reflect the “tone” you’ve come to know in God’s communication with you. How do we come to know when something sounds like God or doesn’t? How do we come to recognize that Voice that knows us better than anyone, and would only give us unerring direction and guidance? By spending time in prayer, in regular conversation with God, we become attuned to that Divine voice and grow to trust it.
Perhaps this Lent, rather than focusing on what we’re giving up, we could focus on adding something to our life. This Lent we could commit to deepening our familiarity with God, deepening our friendship with Jesus, by a renewed practice of daily prayer. In this way, we will hone our discernment skills, and be more able to recognize when it is God’s voice we hear amid the million voices that claim our attention every day.
What are some of your prayer practices during Lent?