Most often I journal spontaneously about whatever is already on my heart and mind, but lately I’ve been using Your Ears Will Hear, written by Steve and Evy Klassen.
This journal comes out of their work as co-directors of the MARK Centre, which is just a few minutes from where I live in Abbotsford, B.C. The 4-level chalet includes a prayer chapel, meeting space, rooms with their own kitchenette and bathroom for overnight retreats, plus kitchen and dining facilities for 25 people. It’s a place for young adults to prepare for short-term mission, for returning missionaries to be refreshed, and most of all, it’s a place for listening to God.
The book begins with an introduction to God as the One who speaks, and the promise from Isaiah 30:21 that we will hear—as we pay attention to Scripture, to God at work around us, to the promptings and passions of our own hearts, in solitude and in community. Toward the end of the book, there is also a brief discussion of listening “tools” like lectio divina, spiritual direction, and silence.
In between are 65 exercises for listening to God—on one side of the page is a personal story, and on the facing page there is a related journal prompt and Scripture verse with room to write.
The personal stories are drawn from daily living and family life—Evy reading with one of their children, Steve training for a marathon, their vision to build the MARK Centre, some of the retreats they’ve led and people they’ve met along the way. They share how God speaks to them, and then prompt readers to listen: “What gives me life and what drains me?” “What has surprised me lately?” “Who is God using to guide me?”
As much as I enjoy journaling on my own, I also appreciate this workbook as a change of pace that prompts me to reflect on things that I might not have thought of otherwise. Instead of focusing narrowly on whatever is already on my heart and mind, I’m encouraged to look at my life in other ways as well.
Yes, God speaks, and we have many opportunities to hear. Thanks, Steve and Evy, for a helpful resource.
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