Sunday, October 20, 2013

L2G - What it Is and Isn't

Is listening to God (L2G) a form of "contemplative prayer" that’s really an offshoot of the Eastern mystical religions? Or is it a “new formula of spirituality” with roots in the New Age Movement? These may be questions you’ve had or that others have asked you.

I decided to dedicate this post to explaining why listening to God as explained on the L2G Forum (and in "A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer") is not a form of contemplative prayer. L2G is also not a "new formula of spirituality."

     L2G is not a form of contemplative prayer

"Contemplative" is an adjective "expressing or involving prolonged thought." Synonyms for contemplative are "thoughtful, pensive, reflective, meditative, musing, ruminative, introspective, brooding, deep or lost in thought.”

L2G is not the result of deep contemplation by the analytical mind. It is an application of the admonition of Proverbs 3:5 to "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and not lean primarily on your own understanding" (Underlined word added). When it comes to living and believing Jesus with every fiber of our being, our own understanding is usually an obstacle.

L2G is the result of the Holy Spirit communicating to the heart and mind of a believer and has its’ foundation in the Gospel of John: 
  • The N.T. teaches that the Holy Spirit resides in the innermost being of the person who has placed his or her faith in Christ (See John 7:38-39)
  • A primary role of the Holy Spirit is communicating to the believer in the precise moment he or she is ready to hear a truth Jesus wants to transmit (See John 16:12-15)
Examples of the Holy Spirit communicating in this way are:
o   Luke 2:26
o   Acts 11:12

    L2G is not a "new formula of spirituality"

L2G is a practice that is laced throughout the entire Bible in both in the Old and New Testament. It is not something new. 700 years before the birth of Christ, Habakkuk the prophet wrote "I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint." Habakkuk didn't understand why God was allowing the Babylonian empire to siege and capture Jerusalem so he went off to a solitary place and asked God for an answer. 

Around 1010–970 BC, a worship priest named Asaph wrote Psalm 81. God speaks to Asaph about His desire that His people would listen to Him. In Psalm 81: he records what God said to him: "O Israel, if you would only listen to Me!" In Psalm 81:16 God promised that He would have fed Israel with the finest of wheat and satisfied her with honey from the rock if only they would have listened.

David was described as a man after God's own heart. He practiced L2G is seeking guidance regarding whether he should attack the Philistine armies on two different occasions in 2 Samuel 5:17-25. Interestingly the strategy God gave David was significantly different in each of these incursions.

From Genesis to Revelation the Scripture is full of people who set aside time to listen to God. Even Jesus invested lots of His time on earth listening to the voice of His Father. So L2G is not something new: it is as old and reliable as the Bible. I would suggest that it is the New Age Movement and Eastern Mystical Religions that have sought to portray themselves as authentic and valid by counterfeiting things that are embedded within the Bible. 

Being more influenced by the Scientific Method than the God of the Bible, the conservative element of the western Christian church began to neglect the Holy Spirit just after the industrial revolution took root. In this time period the supernatural aspects of walking with God were downplayed and overlooked. The person of the Holy Spirit was unwittingly de-emphasized and listening to God ceased to be practiced. Over the last 20 years, conservative western evangelicals have been rediscovering the extreme importance of the Holy Spirit and listening to God has re-emerged. 

Although there may be listening prayer practices that are not founded in the Scriptures (and birthed as a by-product of the Eastern Mysticism), we should not allow this possibility to rob us of a facet of the Christian life that is fully biblical, encouraged by Jesus, and transformational. We don't throw away $20 bills even though it's the most counterfeited currency in existence.

L2G would like to hear your feedback on this post. What questions do you have about L2G? You can comment below or send your response to


  1. Have definitely had others suggest the connection to New Age. Thank you for a very clear description of the Biblical practice of listening prayer.

  2. RMK October 21, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    Thanks for your continued encouragement and instruction on L2G, Rusty. This explanation of L2G vs. contemplation or Eastern mysticism is helpful!