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Types of Prayer 8

Types of Prayer Part 8 Numerous passages in scripture reveal the Father’s delight in communicating with us. He invites us to come into His Presence and wait upon Him in reverence and humility so we can hear His instructions, gain wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel, to name a few. Consider the following passages. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalms 27:14 The word wait in Hebrew means to expect, look patiently, tarry, or wait. When speaking of prayer, it is the posture of waiting on God for His input and interaction. Another great passage using this word is found in the book of the prophet Isaiah. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 What a wonderful promise of rest and refreshing, just by giving God time to speak to our hearts. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10 The words “be still” have the connotation of ceasing, abate, idle, faint, leave. In other words God is saying, stop striving, forsake your own efforts, be at rest, put your engine in idle (figuratively speaking) and know Who I Am. No, He is not saying, leave your mind open to any suggestions, but to be sensitive to His voice, His Spirit, and to know His ways. The Bible says He will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are stayed upon Him (Isaiah 26:3). That is not a suggestion to leave our minds open like a vacuum for just anything. Our focus must always be on the Lord. Colossians 3 tells us to “set” our minds on things above where Christ sits at the right hand of God. That, again, is not an invitation to some form of eastern religion meditation that tells people to empty their minds. Everything we believe we hear from God should line up with scripture. Not be a scripture, but line up with scriptural truths, values, and doctrine. If you think you heard God say, divorce your wife or husband and marry someone else, you are NOT hearing from God. It is your own voice, or worse yet, the devil speaking to you. Again, Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice and they follow Me.” John 10:4-5 Neither is He saying we should stop living or working or neglecting our responsibilities, but He is saying, there is a place of rest and knowing Him when we take on the posture of being still in His presence. That is where He can speak to us and show us things we need to know and understand. He is gentle and will not force His ways upon us, but if we adopt His ways and give Him time and space, He WILL make Himself known unto us in wonderful ways. For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." But you would not, Isaiah 30:15 What a powerful recipe for entering the rest of the Lord, especially because we are all faced with difficulties and stresses of life. We can cocoon ourselves in His Presence and lean our spiritual ear towards His heart to hear His words, comfort, and directions. To do this we must have the posture of not only vocalizing our wants in prayer but listening. In fact, we should probably spend half our normal prayer time, listening for the Father’s still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13). It could be life changing. In closing, there are many so called theologians who claim we cannot hear God apart from what’s recorded in scripture. However, this is a flawed interpretation of the Bible. God never said He would no longer speak to His people on a personal basis. In fact, if you are born again, you somehow heard the voice of God or had some type of drawing by His Spirit that you realized was from Him. Also, Jesus promised us we would hear His voice. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." John 10:4-5 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. John 10:16 Jesus clearly said, “they will hear My voice.” Who shall we believe, God or man. Throughout His ministry and during His appearing to the apostle John He often said, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear….” Was Jesus deceived or wrong to suggest we could hear His voice and the voice of the Holy Spirit? That is ludicrous! For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND MAY OVERCOME WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED." Romans 3:3-4 God has a mouth. He still speaks. He still interacts with His people through revelations (Matthew 16:17) by dreams (1 Kings 3:5; Matthew 1:20; 2:12; Acts 2:17-18) visions and trances (Acts 10:1-3 & 9-16) and prophetic utterances (1 Corinthians 14:3,24-25; Acts 21:9-13). God is not dead! He wants to direct our steps. (Psalms 37:23) The Bible orders us to trust God in all our ways, so He can direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) That requires listening and being aware of His communication and direction. People who do not believe God speaks today are limiting the Holy One (Psalms 78:41) unknowingly. Folks, He wants to fellowship with us, just like He did with Adam and Eve before the fall. (Genesis 3:8-10) The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Psalms 37:23 Another great passage clearly demonstrating God’s plans to be intimately involved with the details of our lives WHEN we allow Him access through prayer, fellowship, and a listening heart. The apostle John said our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). Fellowship requires communication and sharing. That demands a back-and-forth type of relationship where both parties are engaged and have open dialogue with one another. Of course, as with all teaching, we encourage you to seek the Father, search the scripture, to see if these things are so. We have only scratched the surface, and there is so much more we could say about listening to God during prayer. Hopefully, though, this series has given you much to consider, and whetted your appetite for more intimate times of prayer with your Heavenly Father. He promised we can call upon Him and He WILL ANSWER (Jeremiah 33:3). Pray but also listen and your time alone with Him will be tremendously enriched. A new subject next time. Until then, may God our Heavenly Father richly bless and keep you! James Brown CST 01/12/2023
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