Examples and Testimonies ~ Instructions Given in Listening-Prayer ~ Matt 6:6

This page is a new addition.  It is still under development.

Some public readers expressed valid questions and confusions about how full-time listening-prayer works in daily practice.

Common questions included asking how and why training founded in daily listening-prayer is inter-denominational instead of the daily prayers prescribed and ordered in dozens of old fashioned liturgical prayer books, and also as in prayers commanded as mandatory in the long-aged histories of ritual prayer books common across Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and more recently among some charismatic and Pentecostal denominations.

We mean no disrespect of these long seasoned histories of daily prayer accumulated through centuries of trust in God.  Some of our trainers and students hail from historic denominations and incorporate these historic disciplines into their daily prayers, in addition to daily listening-prayers moved uniquely by the Holy Spirit for hearing unique instructions for unique daily missions in the world.  “He [Jesus] said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old” (Matthew 13:52,  Douay-Rheims Bible, and see also, “Then he told them, ‘That is why every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom from heaven is like the master of a household who brings both new and old things out of his treasure chest,” International Standard Version).   The emphasis on scribe in these translations is because our discipline includes making written logs, records and narratives of our prayers, that is, daily inscribing our prayers in written form for mutual collaboration, testing, and mutual action.  

The first testimony below is from a student who graduated from full-time training during our earliest days on the old Usenet discussion forums in the early 1980’s and later on BITNIC LISTSERV (1984–1986).  One early model for full-time training came from the inter-denominational “Holy Spirit Teaching Mission” in 1966 that expanded with live training conferences in many states, and that later became Christian Growth Ministries (CGM) in the early 1970’s.

This is the testimony of Richard C., Usenet alias “The Pipe,” who grew up in a mixed Catholic-Protestant family, rebelled against both traditions because “corn pipe dope and booze had the real effects,” and later returned to simple trust in God because of a worksite experience with prayer.

“Yeah, well, you know, I was pretty doped up and boozed out. The best job I could get after the Navy was laborer on construction sites.  All the work nobody else wanted to do.  Bottom of the sewer.  I smelled like it too.  The Navy took me in mercy.  They said I could become a plumber, I had the tests, but they slammed me down into discharge sewage (blackwater), the raw sewage systems, because I was boozed out and drugged up, and hated to study.  We had Navy rules in the 60’s and 70’s against blasting our Navy blackwater sewage into the oceans, like within tree miles of shore, where your children play on the beaches.   What you don’t understand is how rank, vile, crude, corrosive, toxic, and harsh that raw sewage really is for those ships in the Navy.   Man, those guys could melt metal.  We always had to change out the metal parts.  Anyway, you get the point.   I wanted to be a plumber when I got in, and when I got out.  It is hard to learn plumbing when you are boozed and drugged and you cannot read.  You cannot follow instructions.  I lost many jobs.  My girlfriend kicked me out.  I mean, a real kick.   She told me go back to the sewers.  Until I am sick of them enough.  

One day, I was losing my job again.  Living in my car.  Trashed out.  I could not get some pipes to fit behind wood studs before the drywall went up at a job.   I kneeled and cried.   I was dead.  I did not know Who I was praying to.  I just cried, “help!”  My brain got clear.  I saw a vision how to put pipes together and then twist them through the studs.  Then I finished a few more pipes behind the studs.  I just automatically did what was in the vision.   My boss was already walking over to fire me.  The crew told the boss that I was crying on my knees and throwing up because I was so buzzed out. 

He asked me what happened?

I told him.  “God showed me.”  

He told me if I keep praying like that, and obeying these visions with these same results, then I could stay on the job, one day at a time.  Only one day at a time.   Fifteen years later I finished my real GED, not the one I lied about, and I did my apprenticeship for plumbing, on my way in journeyman.  There are some things not in the books.  Drawings of the Spirit not in the books.  The Spirit knows them.  That is mercy.  It is God’s Mercy.  I did not deserve it.  I never felt grateful until then.  I train some young plumbers now.  They tell me that I am still working even today in the sewer, and God used me to pull them out, that God cares enough to answer their prayers too, down in the raw sewage. 

Let me tell you, up on the upper decks of Navy ships, they all flush.  The Catholics flush.  The Protestants flush.  They all flush.  They have church up there in the upper decks.  Then they all flush.  When that stuff got down to me, the sewage was all the same.  I tell my students, ‘I don’t care what church you are up above, because down below, after you flush, we’re pretty much all the same, and I don’t care what church you are up above, but when you come to work, just pray, because God knows what we are made of. 

It is amazing how many prayers are prayed at worksites.   For a lot of things that don’t even happen at work.   And it is amazing that God still plumbs in the answers.  

I guess we all have our lessons to learn.”

One thought on “Examples and Testimonies ~ Instructions Given in Listening-Prayer ~ Matt 6:6”

  1. Inigo (S.J.) told me in an email to give this page a sniff because I knew Richard in the Navy. Richard always said the Jesuits could do nothing with him, and his Baptists were even worse, and he hated them all, equally.

    The Navy gave him a chance. And God gave him the rest.

    Somebody had to do it.

    Like Richard used to say in his infamous quotes of Jesus, “he who is flushed much, forgiven much, loves much. It’s easy to pray full-time with others, when you really see what we have in common down underneath, and see it through God’s Mercy.”

    Lord, ruler over waves and sea, keep your blessed hand over all seafarers. Give them the strength to lead a faithful life aboard their ships. Do not let them disappoint anyone who may expect their help aboard. Keep their families at home in Your care.

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