Do you ever struggle in your time with God? Linda shares how she uses writing as a tool to focus on new aspects of prayer.
By Linda Newton
I have stumbled onto a tool that has been very helpful when I get stuck and I can’t let go and let God. I have named this tool my “Counseling Sessions With God,” and here’s why I use this during my time with God.
As a counselor for the past twenty-five years, I have a lot of experience with how counseling sessions flow. The client comes in, shares his/or her presenting issue, talks for a while, then expects the counselor to sum things up, and offer clarity regarding what was presented.
With this pattern in mind, I idle down in my Divine Counselor’s office, under a tree, beside a rock, at my desk, anywhere in the universe will do since He owns it all. Then I put my pen to the paper and write out what is consuming my thoughts.
I slow down by writing my thoughts
I am the kind of person whose mind can run a thousand miles a minute, but as I simmer down, I can get in touch with the deeper layers of what I am thinking and feeling. If I am seriously troubled, I simply start with what I am feeling right now in this moment, just as a client would do in my office. Writing is better than talking because it slows me down and fine-tunes my focus. As I write, I ask the Lord to speak into my life.
Writing helps me see the real issues
I write until the issue crystallizes. Sometimes that happens in a few lines. Other times it takes a few pages. But I find as I slow down enough to write, I can better hear the “gentle whisper,” that Scripture refers to in the story of Elijah in 1 Kings.
A pastor friend of mine explains that God often speaks to us as, “an interruption of thought.” As I quiet myself, my mental commotion dies down, and a crystal clear thought dispels all the others. When God is trying to get my attention, it’s not just some random interruption. It’s a clear succinct thought that provides peace and offers help.
The wisdom and clarity presented during this time with God are far beyond my ability to conjure up in that moment, leaving me more convinced that ever that the message is divinely inspired.
I write what I hear God showing me
As that clarity comes, I write down those words just as I have written my thoughts and feelings, but I’ll highlight those words of wisdom. I may need to keep writing to finish getting my feelings out, but I can come back to those words of insight for the answers that I am seeking.
Please understand, I am not one of those people who claim, “I do whatever the voices in my head tell me to do!” The interruption of thought is often my own voice, only uncluttered by confusion and unencumbered by fear, and it possesses a power to bring peace, and an assurance that it is the Truth. The old saints of the church would often call that one’s “inner witness” referring to the voice of God within each of us who follows Him.
What I think it means to hear God’s voice
I believe that when we feel the inner witness, hear the gentle whisper, experience the interruption of thought, or however we choose to reference this Divine Help, we can always check the validity of it by God’s Word. He won’t contradict Himself. So the crazy-eyed guy on TV who says God told me to kill a certain person, clearly didn’t hear from God.
God can’t go against His nature and that nature is represented in the person of Christ who as He walked the earth, loved sinners, encouraged saints, and died to prove it. Even if my counsel that day from the Lord is corrective, it never comes from a place of anger or disgust. It’s helpful and uplifting for me and for the people in my life.
My counseling sessions with God have supplied me with answers as straightforward as, “Let go of your offense. That person doesn’t mean to hurt you,” to as specific as, “Now is not a good time to make major purchases.” Sometimes it’s a reminder of what I already know, that God has a plan, and that He can be trusted to take care of my problem. Writing can be an amazing tool to use your time with God in a new way to grow closer to Him.
Linda Newton’s contagious enthusiasm and engaging storytelling brings God’s Word to life. With authentic transparency and down-home humor she shares how God transformed heartbreak in her life into hope from her book 12 Ways to Turn Your Pain Into Praise published by Warner Press. She has currently written 2 new devotional books, Better Than Jewels: 31 Days of Biblical Insight for a Woman Seeking God based on the book of Proverbs, and Sapphires From Psalms. For more encouragement read Linda’s blog, “Savvy Choices.”