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Types of Prayer 7

Types of Prayer Part 7 In this next part of this series, we will look at two-way communication or dialogue in prayer. This means we aren’t doing all the talking but also in a posture of listening for God’s input, directions, and response. Often, when we think about prayer, we think of bringing our list of requests to God, thanking Him, and going about our way without taking time to hear what He has to say on the subject or something else on His heart. That is not the way we should approach Him, and it reduces us to thinking of Him as solely a provider, healer, deliver, but not as a Father, friend, advocate and helper. God wants to be all things to us, not just a responder to our “grocery list” of needs or wants. He is pleased to hear our sincere prayers but wants to communicate with us and interact with us on a very intimate level, a level some are not comfortable with. When we only pray to God and not dialogue with Him, it often leaves us sensing something is missing in our prayer times. We might even pray scriptural prayers or pray in the Spirit, but it seems something has not been fully accomplished when we arise from our times with the Father. After many years of believing prayer was my duty and being disciplined to pray the types of prayers we have already covered, I came across a book that talked about listening prayer. It made me realize I had treated the Father as if He was not a Person who wanted to respond or interact with me, which makes Him out to be some distant Being who has nothing to say about our daily lives but leaves it up to us to find our way somehow, while He sits silently in a distant realm. The Bible says this about idols. Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them. Psalms 115:4-8 What a complete opposite to the God we serve and love. He is the living God Who sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to redeem us unto Himself, so He could be our Father, and we could be His children. Wow! What grace and love! After we receive His Son as Lord of our lives, He puts His Spirit within our hearts so we can know Him and the things of the Kingdom. His intention has always been for His people to know Him intimately and become fully His in love, surrender, and devotion. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:34 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him." Malachi 3:16-17 They shall be My people, and I will be their God; Jeremiah 32:38 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE." Therefore "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU." "I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY." 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 We see through these and numerous other passages in scripture God’s longing for relationship with His people. We see this confirmed by Jesus during His earthly ministry. "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:1-3 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 Hopefully, you can see how much the Father and Lord Jesus long to have fellowship with us, even to the point of moving inside our hearts through the Holy Spirit. How amazing is that? Because God wants us to know Him intimately, we should at least give Him more space in our thoughts and attention each day. We should want to cultivate a closeness with Him that is more precious than any earthly relationship. He wants us to live with Him eternally and is preparing a place for us. When we pray, therefore, it would be good for us to take time to listen to His response, directions, and leadings. In the book of Isaiah there are many prophesies about the Messiah, Jesus Christ. One of them describes His early mornings with the Father. "The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away. Isaiah 50:4-5 Every morning, Jesus received a “download” of revelation from the Father concerning His day and the Father’s purpose. Jesus not only prayed to the Father, He listened to His Father. This gave Him wisdom, direction, strategy, and counsel for the day. He enjoyed being alone with the Father more than anyone and His life is a testimony to that fact. In just three and a half years, He turned the world upside down, and established a new way of approaching the Father. He ushered in the New Covenant through His blood. He accomplished this through the grace of God and following the Father’s direction. Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. John 5:19-20 How did Jesus “see” what the Father was doing, if not through close fellowship and continuous dialogue. That is available to us also. We must desire it and begin to train our spiritual senses to become aware of the Father’s leadings, gentle whispers, nudges, and revelations. He speaks in many ways, and most of the time it is not audible, because He lives inside and can communicate to us through our spirit, which in turn relays the information to our minds. The order is spirit, soul, and then body. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 God is a Spirit and communicates with our spirit. Our spirit then communicates what He reveals to our understanding (see John 4:24; Proverbs 20:27). If Jesus, the Son of God needed to hear from His Father, how much more do we need to hear from Him? Jesus said the servant is not greater than his master (John 13:16). We will conclude this series in our next article. Until then, may God our Heavenly Father richly bless and keep you! James Brown CST 01/08/2023
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