GOD hasn't stop speaking, it's just that most of us don't know how to listen. Sometimes we don't trust what we're hearing to be the voice of GOD. That's understandable--you don't want to listen to your own thoughts and ideas and tell yourself it's GOD speaking. Wackos who've deluded themselves into believing what they hear in their own troubled or demented minds have done some pretty rotten things. Just because some have made grave mistakes assuming they've heard GOD doesn't mean you ought to dismiss the art of learning to listen to GOD interiorly.

Throughout history, one of the most time-testing ways to check your own thoughts and listen instead for the still, small voice of GOD (1 Kings 19.12) is to sit still with Holy Scripture, yield yourself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and listen for what may come to you. The historic practice of Lectio Divina, long neglected, is now making a come back. You can read more about the practice here (Tony Jones, a Protestant) and here (Thelma Hall, a Catholic).

Below I briefly outline 25 things to keep in mind when you do this. I know, 25 is a lot to keep in mind. But you'll see from the list that they're quite simple, and repetitive. You may even find them predictable. I do that on purpose, to reinforce these simple ways.

Read a short passage of Scripture, slowly, letting a word, phrase, or image in the text gather your attention, then . . .

1. Sit still and straight. Feet on the floor. Your body relaxed.

2. Invoke the Trinity with a simple prayer.

3. Relax your mind, let it drift a bit, like a boat without an anchor.

4. Don't hurry.

5. Sit with the word, phrase, or image that's invited your attention.

6. Give yourself some inner space, that is, open up.

7. Relax your mind. Baptize your thoughts by drawing them down into your heart where Christ dwells (Eph. 3.17).

8. When you mind wanders, come back to the word, phrase, or image.

9. Trust the Holy Spirit as guide.

10. Listen.

11. Let the mind graze freely within the pasture of this text; keep it inside the borders of the passage.

12. Embrace what comes to you; relinquish judgment.

13. Abandon any attempt at Bible study.

14. Arouse your senses, allow different parts of your self to interact with the text.

15. Pray for wisdom.

16. Don't judge what's happening.

17. Don't try to create a spiritual experience.

18. Did I say, listen?

19. Avoid working at this: rest in GOD.

20. Smile gentle to yourself.

21. Straighten your back again; it keeps you alert.

22. Freely associate mentally until something seems to hook you.

23. Inquire of GOD: "GOD, I'm listening. What are you communicating to me?"

24. Rest with whatever comes to you, as subtle or astonishing it might be.

25. Give thanks to GOD.