I am preparing for a few days of solitude at Kingsfold Retreat Centre. How will I experience the quiet of this place? Will I hear from God? How will I know if I hear from God? Elijah, A.B. Simpson, Gordon T. Smith, and Teresa of Avila have insights. I will listen to the mighty wind, the earthquake, the fire, and the gentle whisper. I will silence other sounds and the noises in my mind, so that I might hear “the still, small voice.” I will allow Jesus to speak while paying attention to my emotions rather than cultivating “a particular emotional response.” I will ask for the fruit of justice and truth as evidence of effective prayer. I will take what You offer oh God of my life.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. - 1 Kings 19:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)
“Beloved, let us take His stillness, let us dwell in ‘the secret place of the Most High,’ Let us enter into God and His eternal rest, let us silence the other sounds, and then we can hear ‘the still, small voice.’” (Simpson n.d.)
“. . . we cannot truly attend to the voice of Jesus if we think that the purpose of prayer is to cultivate a particular emotional response.” (Smith 2003)
Spiritual maturity “does not consist in spiritual delights but in greater love and in the deeds done with greater justice and truth. . . . It is in the effects and deeds following afterward that one discerns the true value of prayer; there is no better crucible for testing prayer.” (Teresa n.d.)

Works Cited

Simpson, A.B. The Holy Spirit, vol. 1 of The Old Testament. Harrisburg, Penn: Christian Publications, n.d.
Smith, Gordon T. The Voice of Jesus: Discernment, Prayer and the Witness of the Spirit. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.
Teresa. Interior Castle. Avila, n.d.

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