In this episode, Jenn Lozano and board member Ann Stevens explore the art of listening in an Unbound session or simply to a friend or someone in need.
Ann describes three overall ways one can respond when listening to hard things shared. Responses of fear or pride may be human responses, but God will give us grace to respond in humility, extending compassion to the individual receiving prayer.
Join them as Ann shares the importance of taking personal time prior to an Unbound ministry session to seek the Lord and meditate, even briefly, on a passage from Matthew 7. She reminds us about the depth and unlimited nature of God’s forgiveness.
There is the “small story,” and the “big story.” The small story being the details of a prayer recipient’s account and the big story of God’s power forgiveness and the ability to move into the bigger place of what God is doing.
Ann speaks about the importance of staying present in the moment and being aware of one’s own body language so the recipient feels heard.
The idea of redirecting within an Unbound session is discussed, with Jenn giving an example of a time when she was leading and a recipient withdrew because they felt unheard in the moment. Listening is an art and tips are provided to be compassionate without getting stuck rehashing the hard things someone has been through.
Ann shares a personal example of a time that she received compassion during a therapy session and describes how the empathy shown by the therapist helped her feel heard in the moment.
The biblical account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is explored, showing how Jesus came alongside the disciples and, after listening to their story, helped draw them out of their small story into the bigger picture of what God was doing.
Ann concludes with the reminder that as we remember God’s unlimited compassion and mercy for each of us personally, we can through the Holy Spirit not judge and can help a prayer recipient step into recognizing God’s big story.
Find a great talk by Fr. Boniface Hicks that also teaches on listening.
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Release: November 2023
Music by Christian Harper
Artwork by Rosemary Strohm at Command-S