The Revolutionary Prayer Life Part 3


 

“Four Inseparable Aspects of Prayer”

 

The Second Aspect of Prayer: Listening to God

 

“Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”

(Zechariah 2:13)

 

            I remember telling my pastor, “Talk to me, because if you don’t, the devil will.” That was before I started developing a relationship with God myself and I started developing a hunger for His voice. Logically thinking; when having a conversation with the All Knowing and All Mighty God; it is indeed obvious that the most important aspect of that communication is what HE has to say. If you love basketball and you want to be a better basketball player; imagine for a minute that Michael Jordan is scheduled to spend a couple of hours with you to help with your game. Don’t you think that it will be foolish if during those couple of hours you do all the talking and after you are done you just leave and allow Mr. Jordan no time to speak about your game?  You had one of the greatest basketball players that ever lived at your disposal for a couple of hours and all you could do was talk yourself. My friends; that is what many of us call prayer! We have access to GOD, but we don’t care to listen! Perhaps the reason we don’t care to listen is because some can’t believe that God can actually speak to them.

            Let’s do a basic review on the seven ways God uses to speak to us:

  1. He speaks through our hearts: This is a deep thought that you know it did not come from you.
  2. He speaks through visions: These are like mental pictures from God.
  3. He speaks through dreams as you sleep.
  4. He speaks through His Word; through the revelation of His Word: It is no longer a normal reading; it is when a Scripture jumps out and gives you a deeper understanding. We will be discussing the reading of His Word as a crucial aspect of prayer in the next article.  
  5. He speaks through circumstances: God sometimes opens and closes doors through events in our lives.
  6. He speaks through people: God can use anybody.
  7. He speaks through His audible voice

 

            This aspect of prayer is very dangerous if handled the wrong way because we must make sure that we are indeed listening to God. Not everything that we listen to is from God even if it sounds spiritual.  We must also remember that the enemy will always try to imitate God in order to twist things around. So, not every thought, dream or person that approaches us, necessarily speaks on behalf of the Lord; we must be discerning, confirming what we hear through the word of God. And in decision- making especially, we must have the confirmation of two or three witnesses. (2 Cor. 13:1) For example, the Lord spoke to me about working full time with CRM where I was serving as part-time Chaplain, as I was working full-time with another organization. This was not an easy decision because it required resigning from my full-time job and loosing the extra income of a part-time job. I felt peace about it, but I was waiting for a confirmation. That confirmation came through three different people that did not know what I was asking the Lord and what the Lord was telling me.

            This second aspect of prayer also reminds us that we need the Body of Christ. Prayer should not alienate us from people as we need people in order to be able to confirm that it is God speaking to us. But, is listening then enough?

To be continued…

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Revolutionary Prayer Life Part 3

  1. The primary verse that I suggest we consider is Proverbs 8:32-36: “Now therefore, O sons, listen to Me, for blessed are they who keep My ways. Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at My doorposts. For he who finds Me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against Me injures himself; all those who hate Me love death.” There are three key words which we must consider: (1) listen; (2) watching; and (3) waiting. The promise is in verse 35: (1) “When you find Me you find life!” (2) “You will obtain favor from the Lord.” But we must listen, watch, and wait to find the Lord.

    Psalm 84:1-12, especially Psalm 84:10, shows an example of a listening prayer experience from the life of David: “For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of My God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (I would rather be a doorkeeper.)” David knew the art of waiting at the threshold of the door of the house of God. This is the art of listening, waiting and watching. But the primary verse I want to draw to your attention is Isaiah 50:4,5: “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple. The Lord God has opened by ear; and I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back.” I have prayed these verses over my own life and asked that I be given a listening ear. But I have learned over the years that we do not each “hear” in the same manner.

    Certainly the fear of being open to the “wrong spirits” or being led astray by the enemy is a major obstacle to hearing God speaking. But if If you can respond to the following statements affirmatively, then rest assured that God is speaking to you:

    1. What I heard helps me to respect (fear) the Lord and to depart from evil (Job 28:28).
    2. The message increases my faith in or my knowledge and understanding of Scripture (Proverbs 4:7).
    3. The actions that will result from following this will be full of spiritual fruits: purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, courtesy, good deeds, sincerity, and without hypocrisy (James 3:17).
    4. What I heard strengthens me “with all might” so that I can keep going no matter what happens (Colossians 1:11).
    5. It causes me to experience joyfulness and thanksgiving to the Father (Colossians 1:12).

    As we waited in anticipation of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners, Christians from around the entire globe practiced this ongoing activity of listening, waiting and watching. As we watched television we saw American technological assistance, Chilean courage, global prayers, and God’s grace! It was certainly a proud and joyous moment for all the world last night, especially the people of Chile! Let’s commit ourselves to these skills so that we will truly find Him and obtain favor from the Lord. Let us be alert and learn the lost arts of communion with our Lord through our prayer experience.

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    1. Dennis, this is a great article on the importance of listening to the Lord. I keep telling you; you need to get your own blog going; I will help you with that if you want. Truly all that white hair you have is evidence of great wisdom!  As you pointed out of Proverbs eight, we must: (1) listen (2) watch; and (3) wait. Your answer surely encourages me to study the Hebrew Meaning of these three words.

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