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Stopping to Listen

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Read Psalm 32:1-11

View the July-August, 2015 Issue

Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.

- Psalm 46:10 (NRSV)

I have a friend who speaks slowly, pausing before she answers a question, or even in the middle of a sentence. She stops to chuckle when she’s retelling a funny story. Sometimes when listening to her I have felt impatient, wanting to jump in and finish a sentence for her. But I dislike it when people do that to me, which reminds me not to treat her that way either. I just have to remember when we’re talking to relax and let her say things in her own way.

I have realized that slowing down to listen is a good habit for me in my prayer time, too. I tend to tell God my concerns and requests at high speed before running off to the rest of my day. I know God wants to hear all these things from me, and I can’t think faster than God can listen. But I don’t hear very well while I’m thinking; so unless I quiet my brain during some of my time with God, I probably won’t hear all the things God wants to tell me. Since I have the assurance that God wants to teach and counsel me, the least I can do is take time to listen.

Read more from the author, here.

The Author

Jennifer Aaron (Washington, USA)

Thought for the Day

Do I listen to God the way God listens to me?


Forgive us, Lord, for letting our speaking and listening be out of balance during our time with you. Thank you for your patience and your love that never ends. Amen.



Comment by Joe

Jennifer, a most interesting, loving devotional. Thanks. Very much right that we need to listen for and to God's voice. He is always there ready for our love, conversation, and needs. Your statement - 'I can’t think faster than God can listen' is a jewel. God doesn't get confused by speed or rapid deviation of our thought process - after all, He did create our bodies, minds and every function they can do.

Posted August 30, 2015 at 06:29AM CDT
Comment by Tommie of Dayton, TN

     My problem is that I think what I'm going to say while my friends are speaking. I have to remind myself to be a good listener instead of just a good talker. I went to "more" and wished a picture of the author had been included. I like to put a face with a name when I can.
     Yes, Edd. I'm a Seventh-day Adventist. That's interesting that you attended with your grandmother for so many years. You'll have to come north and visit with our congregation sometime!
    Thanks to everyone who prayed for my playing. I did okay until the pastor threw us a curve ball. He generally isn't there on a fifth Sabbath of the month but he showed up, anyway. I knew another person was scheduled to speak and wondered why he was on the platform. It was during the announcement period and boy! did he have a doozy. He and his family have been pastoring our church for something like 10 years. He's gotten many calls during that time to go to other places but always turned them down. Now that their children are almost grown, he has accepted a call. Because of scheduling, he won't be preaching at our church any more (unless he does as a visiting speaker). We'll certainly miss them. They became part of the family. Transitioning will be interesting.
     I was a bit shaken by the news and it showed in my playing until I could get my bearings again. During the last bit of the sermon, the pianist came over and asked me to play the closing song alone since she had a houseful of company. I supposed they were planning to celebrate her father-in-law's 103rd birthday. It hasn't been long since he quit coming to church.
    My morning arrived dark and cloudy while Adam's was bright and beautiful.
Comment by adam of Dublin, OH
Good Morning God and UR family. The morning has arrived, bright and beautiful. May the day be filled with You and Your love. Align my heart with Yours, allowing Your spirit of kindness to dwell there as I travel all of this day. Let humbleness take the honored seat at the table You lay before me. Let my soul feast upon the beauty of the grace and mercy You provide new each day. Keep my eyes open to You and Your beauty in my life. I love You so much.
     Thank You Lord for this place and the power and wonder You create in all who come here in search of Your face. Let Your blessings rain down and hear the cries of the faithful who so deeply need You today and everyday.
Posted August 30, 2012 at 06:21AM CDT
Comment by adam of Dublin, OH
Good Night God and UR family. As I reflect on the day with You and rest in the love that you have shard with me all the day, it leaves full of praise and thankfulness that You are in my life. Where would I turn in my times of need. To whom would I go to seek good counsel. I know where my strength comes from and who holds me up when I begin to lean. I seek Your face night and day. You are my rock and my strength. You give me wings like eagles, to fly, to soar above the earth.
     Your beauty shone in the moon tonight as it brightly cast its pale light on all the surfaces that surrounded me. Your light in my life whether day or night shines so bright. It's shimmering hue a gentle veil over You. Never hidden but never fully exposed, is Your beauty to me. My eyes seek to drink Your beauty in, to know what wonder and amazement You are to this moment. To grasp our time together and hold on for the ride of my life. Loving every minute of it with You
    So tonight as I recline and open my mind to all that You are in my life. I know I would lost and suffer the costs of life lived without love. No beauty would dare grow here without You being the garden of love that my eyes feast upon as I sleep. Most of my waking moments are consumed with the power of Your love in my life. Always strengthening and supporting this soul that is ever stirring. The passion that You inspire within me to be more then I could have ever been just warms my heart and soul. It prepares me for the next challenge I will face with You. Greater am I with You then I would ever be alone. I love You more than life itself. Thank You for loving me today and everyday. I pray You hear my song and it moves Your heart with joy.
Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:40PM CDT

Posted August 30, 2015 at 12:57PM CDT
Comment by raynard of newark, DE

Good Morning U.R Family. Thank you Jennifer for your devotional."BONK! OUCH! A Wet Smelly Fish upside my head right about now as I try to use the excuse"I thought I passed the Evelyn Wood Speed reading Course.. I digress. I believe these days as I never addressed the "not listening/listen to your wife/ Good Night Mr Walters grumble grumble is reson why I dont use the telephone much tnese days. But I do get impatient when texting that conversations " go " like The Lampchop song "This is a song that never ends.. It goes on and on my friends.. First we starting singing , not knowing what it was yada yada yada.. Health update.. By Wednesday , If that camel comes and reminds me of what day it is,"I'll look at the humps in his back and start singing" 16 tons at what do you get? a little day older and deeper in debt.. I digress . Prayers going out to each and every spoken and unspoken request. The end of August heat is here this week. Drink pleaseee plenty of water, look out for your elderly neighbors and pets and stay hydrated watch your intake of processed foods and soda. Be blessed and encouraged everyone and have a great day..

Posted August 30, 2015 at 07:23PM CDT
Comment by merry of Poteau, OK

"Do I listen to God the way God listens to me?"...
Do I?...No
Jennifer...Hello in Washington. Welcome to the UR Family. Thank you for your devotional,
'Stopping to Listen.'
I need the reminder to 'stop and listen' often.
UR Family...Hello. Blessings to you as you enjoy a wonderful Monday.
Tommie...its interesting you mention 'Transitioning'... FBC Poteau just completed a transition period. We voted to accept the call of a new pastor today.
Raynard...praying you're recovering and feeling better.
Cherie...hello to you, Ron and Willow. Charlie had a quiet day. He didn't want to play with Candy. ~}
Kathy...hello. hope you've had a restful week-end. Hugs to you, Amber and kitties. Hope all goes well with the new position. Keeping Corey in prayer.
Sarah...hello. Thank you for your faithful prayer list. Keeping us updated on the concerns of our family here in the UR. Keeping Lucy in prayer as she returns to school and Albert.
Dan...thank you for sharing your visit with the prisoners. Keeping them in prayer...and you.
"Father, thank You for hearing our prayers..." amen.

Posted August 30, 2015 at 09:37PM CDT
Comment by Sarah of Berwyn, IL

Good morning, everyone! Thank you, Jennifer, for your devotional this morning. I know that I need to listen to the Lord more, rather than constantly rattling off my prayers and whipping through my Bible reading, but not pausing to listen to what He is saying to me. That doesn’t tend to be a problem when I am talking with someone, as I am much more of a quiet person, not talking much. I let the others do much more of the talking. I should probably be more like that with God, too.
JUDY of Yalaha, FL - I am praising the Lord with you that Hurricane Erika has weakened out of hurricane strength, and is just a storm now. I pray that this storm will not cause any damage to anyone. I am also praying for all those in the Caribbean who were hit very hard by Erika, and that the Lord will help them in their recovery. * DAN - I am praying for the two men that came to your Bible study meeting at the jail on Saturday. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their hearts, and they will commit their lives completely to the Lord Jesus. I pray, particularly for Anthony McCants and his wife, Mary, that the Lord will use him in a special way during his remaining time in prison, and that He will uphold Mary during this time, too.
RAYNARD - I am praying that the Lord will continue to bring you healing from the kidney stone you had treated over the weekend. I pray that He brings you relief from all pain, and that the medication is effective. I pray that you were able to get a lot of rest this past weekend. * MARSHA of Brownwood - I pray that everything went great yesterday with your church’s “Back to Church” service and breakfast. I pray that many came who do not normally attend church, and that the Holy Spirit works in their hearts to either come to saving faith in the Lord, or to recommit themselves to Him. I am also praying that your son, Nick, and grandson, Zakk were able to come, as well.
MICHAEL of Lindendale, TX - I am praying for your client, Bill, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and given 3-6 months to live. I pray that the Lord will bring him a miracle of healing, that will bring praise and glory to His Name, and that any treatments he might be given will be effective. I pray that the Lord will give both him and his wife strength, and they put all faith and hope in the Lord. I am also praying for Cliff and June, an elderly couple in your church, as he has decided to stop taking his medication, and they have called hospice. I pray that the Lord will strengthen and uphold them in their decision, and that they will find peace and hope in Him. I am lifting in prayer your little grandson, Luke, that the Lord will bring him relief from his constipation. Also prayers for safety in travel for your daughter, son-in-law and children as they travel from California to visit you in a couple of weeks, and that you all have a wonderful time together.
BARB of Crown Point - I am praying for both you and your husband, as he has a good job prospect in another state, but isn’t sure he wants you to come with. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will be working in his heart, and that He will restore your husband’s feelings for you. I pray that He will give your husband wisdom and leading regarding not only the position, but also to do what is right in relationship to your marriage. I pray that the Lord will uphold you during this time, and also give you wisdom in what to say and do throughout. * JULIE of Delray Beach, FL - I am praying that the Lord will continue to bring both you and your husband healing from the allergies you are suffering with, and that the pollen counts will go down in your area. I am also praying for your mother as she will be going into the hospital for a heart scan and procedure later this week, to see if she is fit for surgery later in September. I pray that the procedure is successful, and that she will get a good report and go-ahead for the surgery. I pray, too, that the Lord will bring her total healing, and the surgery in Michigan will be completely successful. I also pray for safety in travel to and from Michigan for her.
CRAIG of Wanchese, NC - I am praying that the Lord will continue to bring you healing and peace to your grieving heart, as you mourn the loss of your only child thirteen years ago. I pray that the knowledge and belief that you will one day be reunited will uphold you and give you joy. I am also praying that the Lord will be working out all your plans for the next mission trip you will be taking to Haiti later in the fall, and that He will supply all you need, both in supplies, finances and workers for this trip. * TAMARA of Russell Springs, KY - I am praying that you will hear soon about when your surgery will be rescheduled. I pray that when it does take place that the Lord will guide your doctor, the surgery is successful, and that the Lord will bring complete healing and a full and quick recovery.
TOMMIE of Dayton, TN - I am praying for you and your church, as your pastor has accepted a call to serve at another church. I pray that the Lord will lead another Spirit-filled man or woman of God to serve as your pastor. And congratulations to your church’s pianist’s father-in-law on his 103rd birthday yesterday! That’s a milestone! I pray that he and the family had a wonderful day together! * MERRY of Poteau - I am praying for your church as you voted yesterday to accept the call of a new pastor. I pray that the Lord will bless this new pastor, that he or she will faithfully preach His Word, and that the Lord will also bring blessings to your church.
I am praying for the family and friends of the Texas sheriff's deputy that was shot and killed, execution style, while filling up with gas. I pray that the Lord will bring special comfort to his family, and that they might find peace and strength in the Lord Jesus.
Have a blessed day, everyone!

Posted August 30, 2015 at 10:16PM CDT
Comment by Don of Ozark, MO

Good morning, my friends, Jennifer, we welcome you to the UR family and thank you for your devotional contribution and additional words on the subject of listening. We need to pay attention to what people say to us, even if is not pleasant. Sometimes we are criticized by others and the criticism is entirely justified. At other times, some try to flatter us so that we will do things their way. If we listen to God, however, He will tell us the truth. I pray that the Lord will help us today as we struggle with the many problems that we face. Praise the Lord!!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 04:10AM CDT
Comment by Dan of Summerfield, NC

Jennifer, thank you for this devotion, and for your conviction about my 'active listening'. I am impatient and do get carried away. I also appreciated your BLOG, and it reminded me of Psalm 3:5-6; 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.' Without really distorting its meaning, I suggest an application to the heart of it: 'Listen to the Lord with all your heart and lean not on the advice and counsel of others.' I'm not suggesting this is anything, except an explanation why Joash (in your BLOG illustration) went astray. Before I started listening to the Lord, I was very gullible to sales pitches and other self- serving advice from the mouths of others. Listen to what the Lord tells you, and he will always make your path straight.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 04:28AM CDT
Comment by Kathy of Canal Winchester, OH

Good Morning UR family, Jennifer, Thank you for your devotional today. I needed it to reaffirm my decision to stay at my current job. I kept on praying and asking what he wanted me to do and he kept on directing me to my current job. Sarah, I am praying for Lucy as she starts back to college I am praying the Lord leads you to a good paying job. I am also praying for Albert. Barb, I am keeping you in prayer. Sending you a hug too. Merry, Good morning and thank you for thinking of my furry family. Amber sends hugs to Charlie. My weekend was busy. The animal shelter had a lot more dogs. 5 are cruelty cases so we aren't allowed to take them out on walks. Three of the dogs looked so scared. My kitties are good!!! Cherie, How is Willow doing? I know she is a joy to you and Ron. I am so happy you two have her. George, I am keeping Bethanne in prayer for continued healing. Julie, I am praying for your Mom and travel mercies to Michigan. I pray you and your husband are feeling better. Michael, I pray for Bill but thank the Lord he has you in his life. Raynard, I am praying for you and healing from your kidney stone. Tommie, I am praying for your health! Thank you for posting Adam's prayers. Joe, your comment today was awesome.

My DIL Mom is visiting. She came over to visit me last night. We talked about her daughter and how her current position has really changed her. We both have concerns. I have also seen changes in my son. Please pray for them.
Happy Monday to all and blessings to all this beautiful morning.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 04:45AM CDT
Comment by George of Virginia Beach, VA

Jennifer, thank you for the reading and the reminder to slow down and listen, sometimes I am in a hurry and tell myself I will finish my prayers driving to work, but that never turns out well. Praises as my SIL Annette just celebrated 1 year of her cancer being in remission. Praying for resolution for issues her my wife and another sister are having. Praying for my good friend Bill and his wife having financial difficulties. Dan, thanks for continuing to share the inspirational stories of your ministry, joining you in prayer for the 2 inmates that came to your bible study. Raynard, continued prayers for your healing from kidney stones. Tommie, praying for your church as you transition from your long time pastor. Michael, praying for Bill and his family as he has pancreatic cancer, also for Cliff and June as he stopped taking his medicine and hospice is there. Bob, great point, praying for Joni to be an example of faith. Merry, praying for your church as you transition to a new pastor. Janet, thank you for your work and the testament of faith shown by your patients. Barb, praying for you and your husband. Craig, I can't imagine your pain, praying for healing and praises for your ministry in Haiti. Cherie, glad you found such a wonderful church. Praises for all needs met, and prayers for all needs spoken or unspoken. Have a blessed day!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 05:04AM CDT
Comment by Heidi of Woodstock, IL

Good morning, thank you Jennifer for your devotion. Sometimes I have a difficult time listening when I my friends call and unload, need to be a better listener , as well as a Godly
SARAH thank you for your prayer updates.
CHERRIE you sound much happier since you have willow, it is a good match.
RAYNARD continuing prayer, hoping you feel better soon.
KATHY prayers for your decision to stay in your current job. I am sure it was not easy.
Wishing you all a blessed day, filled with Gids love.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 05:06AM CDT
Comment by Jay of Fort Myers, FL

Ponder . . . we have 2 ears and 1 tongue !

Posted August 31, 2015 at 05:21AM CDT
Comment by Francis of Hideaway, TX

My brother David passed out yesterday while teaching his SS class. I pray this incident is not more than a needed meds adjustment.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 05:42AM CDT
Comment by Ronnie of Cortland , NY

I am not a good listener and need to apply this to my life. Heading back to work today after a week off and expecting a huge workload. I wasn't going to stop and ask for prayer and then read this next. Praying that this will encourage those who are also facing what appears to be too much for a human to handle. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Praying for strenght to shine through us today.

Empowered through Christ

by Joyce Meyer - posted August 31, 2015

Be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
- Ephesians 6:10

Most of the things that are truly worth doing are never easy—we are not filled with the Spirit of God to do easy things. He fills us with His Spirit so we can do impossible things!

If you want to develop your potential and succeed at being all you can be, keep your eyes on the prize and press on! It won't all be easy, but it will all be worthwhile. Most of those who blame everyone and everything for their failures had potential, but either did not know how to develop it or were unwilling to meet its requirements. When things don't work out in our lives, it is not God's fault. It isn't really circumstances or other people who are to blame, because if God is on our side, they are not mightier than He is (Romans 8:31).

The truth is, when things don't work out for us, it is because we have not obeyed God, not pressed on and been willing to take giant steps of faith. The world wants us to conform, but the Lord wants to transform us, if we will do things His way.

Lord, I ask You to fill me with Your Spirit right now so that I am fully equipped to do Your will in this world. I will press on and fight my way through all the fear and doubts that stand in my way. Amen.

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 05:43AM CDT
Comment by Craig of Wanchese, NC

Good morning all! Jennifer, thanks for the same reminder my wife just gave me two days ago. I always find it strange how I can have something going on in my life, and go to church (or here) and see a sermon or devotion about the things I have happening. I have come to realize God is speaking to me through this, and like everyone else, I don't always get His message straight. I have a really important meeting at the end of this week about something I'm troubled with in Haiti. My wife ( Chetty) told me to just listen to what they have to say, and be slow to speak. Thanks to all for the Prayers from yesterday. It is still hard even after 13 years to deal with. I hope everyone has a Blessed day.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 05:53AM CDT
Comment by Carole of Tucson, AZ

Good morning Upper Room. Oh so often I am quick to interrupt others and not let them finsih. I'm also guilty of not stopping and just listening to God. Both of these I'm working on. I've been well aware of them and it's a continuous thing I work on. Thank you for the reminder Jennifer.
I am giving thanks to God over and over again for this week I'm spending with my family in Pennsylvania. It's been wonderful to have time to enjoy them and just be with family again. I'm alone in Arizona the rest of the year so this has been a wonderful week for me. Praise God.
I continue to lift all of you here with health concerns and finanical worries up to God.
Have a wonderful day.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:01AM CDT
Comment by Lily of Palmyra, NJ

Good morning UR family! Thank you Jennifer for today's devotional. I often pray for ears to hear, bc I also hurry into my day and don't sit still enough to listen to the Lord. Today I start my new job and I'm a little nervous. I'm praying for calmness and travel mercies, even though I did a trial run, I'm not at all familiar with the area. But God, happens to be my GPS. Prayers & blessings to y'all. 💕

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:07AM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Good morning ur family and Jennifer thank you for the devotional.I have to admit I a am not always a good listener. I have abad habit of being a drive through listener. It is definitely something I have to work on.
Thank you all who are praying for my mom and MIL. I am feeling better today.PTL. My husband still doesn't feel well.
Kathy Praying for your decision.
Sarah Praying for Lucy as she starts back to college.
Praying for all on the list.I have to work today.So I am running late. Have a great day UR family.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:15AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Great morning to you all, may the Lord shine on you all. Praise the Lord!!! Jennifer, thanks for the Scripture and your devotional. Yes, we need to slow down and listen. God answers but sometimes we are so far ahead with our requests we miss His answers. To show you prayers are answered, your prayers for me and my family and friends have been answered for both Mikes knee replacement are doing great and they are both almost back to full recovery, Zeke is doing great and back to his normal self, Melba is in rehab doing great, Bianca just found out she now has a 9-5 job Monday through Friday, Rea has began here chemo and not have too many side affects and God's shows us everyday through requests likes these being answered He loves us all. Praying for every UR Family member mentioned in Sarah's list everyday. Praying today the Lord touches us all with His love and healing hands. Yeah, we have Zeke for two days he is spending the night tonight. God is Love!!! Edd of Ocala, FL.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:18AM CDT
Comment by Judy of Yalaha, FL

Thank you Jennifer, I'm one of those people who has a brain that always seems to be in high gear. Has led to trouble sleeping and impatience is something I work on all the time. Going to work on listening for the joy of what others have to say. Yes even in prayer time. I long for that close, close relationship with God.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:18AM CDT
Comment by James of Fayetteville, GA

Slowly but surely, our nation is bowing to idolatry. Our national government is passing laws that supports the thing that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. States are passing laws for the sole purpose of making money. Local governments are using and perverting existing laws and the court system to extract money from the unsuspecting. They make it impossible to defend oneself without a lawyer, in traffic court. Their procedures are not designed to promote Justice, but to make a person give up and plead guilty or spend a lot of money on an attorney, whether a person is guilty, or simply facing scurrilous charges. A nation of laws can be a good thing, when the purpose is Godly. When the law becomes a tool of satanic importance and is used to enslave people or support those who make and support laws, then we are headed for the same destruction as Sodom, Gomorrah or Babylon. God, have mercy on us. Please reveal unto us the truth that we all might be free. God bless our UR family, our immediate families and the United States of America. Thank you Jennifer for today's devotional. The word of God and life's experience prepare us for much. It also opens our spiritual eye to see things in the world from a righteous perspective.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:20AM CDT
Comment by Ann of Columbia, SC

There's a treat on Julia's Defeat Despair blog- a photo of Raynard and his family. The blog uses Raynard as an illustration of someone who chooses to be in a good mood( that's an oversimplification). His big heart is evident as he has his strong arm around Julia's son.

Thanks Raynard for your contributions to all of us😀

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:22AM CDT
Comment by Marsha of Brownwood, TX

Good morning URF!
Thank You, LORD, for Monday! TGIM!
Thank you, Jennifer for your message today! I often fail to listen closely because I am thinking of something clever to say next. I need to work on listening. In the morning before I start my job at my church, I pray for listening ears. God always answers!
Thank you for your prayers, URF! We had a wonderful service yesterday. It looked like a good crowd, I will find out the count after I get to work. My son, Nick, and grandson, Zakk, did come to church with me. Zakk also came with me to Family Movie Night. We watched "Do You Believe?" It is an awesome movie. Several in the audience were crying during the movie,
including me. 😂
I am praying for you.
TOMMIE-they did put a pic of Jennifer in the print version.
Have a blessed day walking and listening to Jesus!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:24AM CDT
Comment by Bonnie of Wilmington, DE

Jennifer, Thank you for reminding me God created us with two ears and one mouth! Your friend reminded me immediately of my husband's cousin. I would get annoyed particularly with the chuckle in the middle of the sentence until I found out she had degenerative aphasia and realized how devastating it must be to laugh so she had time find the words to finish her sentences. I don't know if that's your friends style of speaking but my point is we don't always know what's going on in people's lives.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:42AM CDT
Comment by Bob of Guyton, GA

Listening is an art that I need to continually need to develop.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:43AM CDT
Comment by Joe

Thanks Kathy, this is a awesome website, I'm just one of the many that have hopefully good thoughts to share, and that includes you. Glad you've finally made your job decision and it sounds like it is the way you should go. I remember something like this - 'better to go where you have been going versus going where you have never gone'. Sounds a little hokey - yeah.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:48AM CDT
Comment by kim of locust grove, OK

Father God thank You that you are always there to listen to us. Help us slow down so that we can listen to you. Help us slow down so that we can listen to others. Seek first to understand, then to be understood (Steven Covey). Be with us as we start a new week. Help us reach out to those in need around us. Help us be your disciples. IJN Amen .

Posted August 31, 2015 at 06:55AM CDT
Comment by Laura

Jennifer - WORD! : ) Thank you for this!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 07:10AM CDT
Comment by Linda of Madison, AL

The verses say "Do not be like a mule". Anyone who has been around mules knows what that means. Mules are very hard headed and determined to go their own way. Just like me. Please Lord help me to be still and listen to your way.
Praises for my DIL; she is badly bruised and very emotional about her wreck, but not injured. Thankfully, the other woman was not injured either. For a head on collision, they were both very lucky.
We are having someone in to strip wallpaper and paint our half bath this week. The wallpaper was applied 30 years ago as new construction without any primer underneath, and it is a painstaking job to get it stripped. Thankfully, we have a very sweet lady who is willing to do it.
Prayers for our country and our world as we face so many troubles and so much evil. May we all seek shelter in the Lord.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 07:22AM CDT
Comment by JK

Good Monday morning all! Jennifer thank you for the words of wisdom regarding talking vs. listening. I find I need to hurry up to say something before I forget some of the time? ha! Guess it is not all that important anyway? Kathy God has a plan for you in your current location evidently. You are a model for those co-workers! So many wonderful thoughts expressed and prayers requested. I say amen following each and everyone. Sarah many thanks for the continued prayers for us all and expressing the requests we have made. Raynard I pray you are feeling much better and so many praises to your wife for getting you to the dr to get that help! Blessings to each of you. I see many answered prayers here and in my life and circumstances of which I am aware. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Tommie I know you tickled those organ keys just fine. Praying for that transition as well and as Sarah mentioned the 103rd birthday celebration. A milestone indeed!! My grandfather lived to be that old and had no serious health issues. He simply went to take a nap following lunch and that was it. Whew. Now THAT is the way to go? I know he is with our Lord and his wife(grandmother) and my parents and his! Power in the name of Jesus. May we all experience that power knowing His plan is for our good.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 07:32AM CDT
Comment by Sandra of Summerville, SC

Good morning everyone! Thank you Jennifer for your devotional this morning. Listening to God is what I need to do more of. My prayers go out to all who are posted here today and all of the things going on in this world. I thank God for everything and I praise his name. Have a wonderful and blessed day!!!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 07:56AM CDT
Comment by Joe

'transition' is used several times today by UR folks. Yes, changing Pastors, churches, jobs, and residence etc can be tough. But glory to
God we have made that great Transition that really matters - from the unsaved to the glorious salvation of our Jesus. That is the transition that will comfort us for all eternity.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 08:00AM CDT
Comment by Willis of Jackson, TN

Good Morning UR Family: JENNIFER--Psalms 32 is one that I try to read every morning. I too have a problem trying to finish someones sentence and many times I finish it wrong. Praying about that. Had a glorious day yesterday--even tho I cannot hear I gave our morning devotional before Church and then led the prayers. Couldn't hear a word the preacher said during his sermon or the liturgist while she was talking. My wife said it was a good sermon.
After Church, we went to Memphis and celebrated my departed brother's grandchildren (two girls and one boy) triplets ----13th birthday. New teenagers! WOW, time flies seems like yesterday they were not even walking. Hope to get a Dr. appointment soon for my hearing loss.
Thanks for all those that have been lifting me up in prayer.
Praying for all others that have needs.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 08:14AM CDT
Comment by cherie of Inverness, FL

Good morning family and thank you Jennifer for the devotional on being a good listener. I am pretty good at listening. I developed this through the years.
Everyone like Ann said, on Julia's Defeat Despair blog is a picture of Raynard and his family. He looks just like I pictured with a sunny smile and an aura of gentleness.
I need prayer today. I have a muscle spasm in my right abdomen or trunk. It kept me up last night. It doesn't hurt, but shakes me awake. I don't have any health insurance so please pray it will stop soon. I had been doing some pilates exercises and maybe that started it. I haven't done anymore.
Asking fo prayers for some young people at church. Shana and her 2 children, Jacob and Summer. They are having a difficult time being without a husband or father. She hasn't been back to church in a few weeks. Also pray for Amber who just had a baby that is drug addicted. The father left when she went to the hospital to deliver. God please help these young people.
Kathy, hello to you and I will be praying for your job.
Merry, I keep you and yours in my prayers.
Penny, thank you for your comments about me and Willow. Yes!! I love her!!
Edd, so glad to hear all the answered prayers!! God is Good! All the time!!!
Everyone have a beautiful day! Love and Light

Posted August 31, 2015 at 08:16AM CDT
Comment by Julia of Alexandria, VA

Hi everyone, I just couldn't resist popping in to tell you all that RAYNARD, Mary and Ms. Ella blessed us with a visit just recently and I featured them in my blog. Raynard even brought me a yummy cake made to my (chocolate) request. You can all hop over to my blog to see the photo of Matt and me with them. I so miss all of you and hope that life will one day allow me to spend time here again. Jeff is doing OK, the cancer is advancing in his lungs and he is still on chemotherapy, but it will soon be THREE years since they gave him a prognosis of "two years if you take treatment" so each and every day is a blessing and most amazing of all, he is still working full time when he's not taking treatments. Even when things are going bad, we know that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. Blessings to all!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 08:35AM CDT
Comment by Donna of San Marcos, TX

Good morning dear UR family! Listening to God, sometimes it sounds like a gentle breeze and sometimes it sounds like thunder. I find that I get impatient trying to hear literal sounds from God, and realize that I need to be listening with my spiritual ears. And, then my heart speaks to me. That is just how it works with me. The truth is that when we become aware of "spiritual ears" we are able to then practice listening with them. Keep practicing! And, conversation with others is best when it is like playing ball. Whoever has the ball talks while the other listens, and when the ball is passed the other talks. I like to think about it this way; at the end of the sentence there will be a test, and if I can tell them what they said I get to win their friendship. That keeps me from focusing on what I want to say next and on what they are saying. Don't worry, you will still be able to speak your opinion, it always finds its way out! Lord, help us all to be good listeners to you, that your will be most important and we can understand what you are saying to us. Amen

Posted August 31, 2015 at 08:47AM CDT
Comment by Stephen of Scottsville, VA

Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Mark 4:24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Deuteronomy 32:1-2 Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.
Dear Creator Lord God, teach us to be better listeners to You and to others. Help us quiet and block out selfish motives and desires so we can move beyond what we want to hear, and thereby listen as would be thy loving will. Guide us to create special time for You and others each day, as within this Upper Room devotional, as we listen to others' ideas, prayers and needs while seeking thy Word and guidance. And upon hearing You and others, please give us thy gift of the Holy Spirit to respond in appropriate loving and giving ways, and to provide wise counsel if it be thy will. Grant us patience and empathy, and the ability to be a comfort and caring witness for Your glory. In Jesus' name, He who taught us to be discerning, attentive and thoughtful in His parables, Amen

Posted August 31, 2015 at 08:57AM CDT
Comment by Linda of West Point, VA

Good morning as we end another month and start a fresh week with God as our guide and savior. Many blessings here this moring and I continue to thank and Praise God for all he does for each one of us. Julia, enjoyed your blog entry with the picture of Raynard, it is always good to put a face with a name and I am sure that was a delicious chocolate cake. Again, and I know I have said this many times before, "thank God for my being a part of this wonderful family of prayer partners and shouting praises for answered prayers. "ASK"

Posted August 31, 2015 at 09:03AM CDT
Comment by Penny of Midland, NC

Good morning. Thank you Jennifer for this devotional...it's something I really needed to read. When I try to pray and talk to God, my mind just will not cooperate and slow down. My thoughts all all over the place. I need to find a special, quiet place for me and the Lord...somewhere there are no distractions.
Hope everyone here has a blessed day.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 09:15AM CDT
Comment by Upper Room

Dear Faithful Upper Room Online Readers:

We at The Upper Room apologize for the recent spam messages that have made it into the comments section of the website. Thank you for your patience as we work on ways to keep this from happening.

Doug from The Upper Room

Posted August 31, 2015 at 09:22AM CDT
Comment by Leah

Thank you, Jennifer for the wise and humbling devotional and for you More From the Author post. I truly enjoyed reading and know that God was speaking to me through your words. I pray that everyone has a blessed start to the week, listening to God as the True Source. I am praying for Michael's client, Bill and his family for healing, Also for Cliff and June and for peace and comfort for the decision, for Barb and your husband, for Craig and his family, for Annette, Bethanne and their other sister, Julie's husband, mom and MIL, and all other prayer requests both spoken and all requests kept in the heart. Praise God for all answered prayers, as is so evident from Edd's post! All Praise belongs to God!

Posted August 31, 2015 at 09:25AM CDT
Comment by Leah

Wow, awesome blog post, Julia! I loved the photo of all of you! You are so right about Mr. Raynard! His posts are funny and cheerful and encourage me to be in a better mood. I am saving your blog post as a reminder to choose joy! Praying for you, Matt, Jeff and your other son and family! God is the Ultimate Healer! I am also praying for Raynard, Mary and Ms. Ella and for their family.

Posted August 31, 2015 at 09:37AM CDT
Comment by Jimmie of Chester, VA

Good morning to all. Happy Monday! I finally made it to this wonderful site. Thanks for your devotional, Jennifer. I had no choice but to stop to listen in order to post. There is a lot going on with this site and other things too. But thankfully, God heard my prayer. I'm thankful for all prayers and comments.
     Happy birthday and anniversary to everyone celebrating on August 31, 2015. "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good" (Psalm 118:1).

Posted August 31, 2015 at 09:54AM CDT
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