Paying Attention: Living Conversations With God


JOHN 10:27 (AMPC) | My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

JEREMIAH 33:3 (AMPC) | Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).


One day of conversation:

Lord, I want to hear you more. I want to hear you better. I want unveiled eyes and a callous-free heart. To be fully awake. You say “My sheep hear my voice…” I am your sheep. You say, “Call to me and I will answer you…” I am calling to you.

Ok then, Colleen. Pay attention…

As I’m about to throw the cat off my lap that likes to join me in my early morning quiet times, distracting me from “concentrating on hearing God,” I become aware of an invitation from God to spend time with him in the way the cat wants to spend time with me—totally unproductive, no agenda time. Cody just likes to knead my tummy and purr and look at me, and we both feel happier for it. Hmmm… How often do I just let myself sit in his presence with no agenda other than to enjoy being together, to see what comes up as we sit together? And how deeply does this time expand my ability to recognize his voice, to be still enough to see if he has something to show me?

I head to the kitchen and look at the two gallons of milk that have been in the fridge for a week now. I feel a pit in my stomach—it’s time to stop buying so much milk—our kid count is newly down from three to one, as my two oldest are at college out of state. New seasons. Time to grow new things. I ask God to lead me to those new things. I ask him for good, godly friends for my daughter who takes longer to connect with people, as she starts college… and hear, “Don’t worry—[smile]—I haven’t run out of people…”

Call to me and I will answer you…

I apologize to my Heavenly Father for not “calling” more often, as now I recognize how eager I am for my kids to call me so we can talk, and know the ache of a mother’s heart. The ache of my Father’s heart. I will pay more attention to giving him my full attention.

As I head to work I sense that I am invited (once again) to be a conduit of God’s love and power to those I will be around all day. I tell him I want to be a bigger conduit—I want upgraded circuitry so I can handle more “voltage,” more him—because the kids I work with need more him! When that particular kid walks into the room at work and the atmosphere changes—how do I combat that? I aspire to the spiritual authority I see in others and beg him for more for myself. What does that look like? How do I get it? On my face with my cat in the a.m.?

Call to me and I'll answer you, and will tell you about great and hidden things that you don't know.

I ask him to help me know when he is speaking. I WILL answer you. The wind gusts. He blows the fall leaves off the trees out my window, and I recognize the fact that death has to precede new life.

I ask him to grow me in intercession. Call to me and I will answer you. I bring a harried friend to him in my mind’s eye, a friend all tangled in strings of busyness and hurry. He offers me a pair of scissors in the form of a verse to share with said friend. I bring another friend to him who is bearing more than any wife and mom should ever have to bear in losing her 49 year old husband to dementia. I see God hold her in his lap while she beats his chest and screams…

I have no words but I have tears. He doesn’t need my words.

Colleen, I don’t always use words either. I am disclosing myself to you all the time…you need only pay attention. Call to me and I will answer you…you are my sheep. You know my voice.


  1. When did you last spend time with God without an agenda, just paying attention and being with him?

  2. Practice on-going communication with God throughout your day. What prayers come up in you? Where do you see, hear, or sense him? In what ways is he communicating, either with or without words?


Colleen Brown has been with CRM since 1997. Over the years, her roles have included working with the Staff Development and Care Team, serving behind the scenes at CRM events and conferences, and printing the “Just Between Friends” staff newsletters. Colleen and her husband, Kevin, have three daughters and reside in Vancouver, Washington.