Is Prayer More than Reciting Your Wish List to God?
“Give God time to reveal Himself to you. And give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you.” Andrew Murray
Jesus described one unmistakable, identifying characteristic of those who are His followers. As recorded in John 10:27, He said: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” If we are one of Jesus’ sheep, or followers, we will listen to His voice. Cultivating a sensitivity to the voice of God is crucial to being able to follow Jesus. We hear God’s voice in His written Word. Often the Scripture reminds us that the written word of God is the very breath and voice of God. Hebrews 3:7-8 says: “So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”
We must learn to discern the voice of God and distinguish it from the din of worldly, or even Satanic, advice we are constantly bombarded with. Hebrews 5:14 instructs us that it is only “by practice we have our senses trained to discern good and evil.” Other Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to our lives and guides us into the truth and its application to our lives.
Listening and following the voice of God is central to the Christian walk and experience. Hearing God’s voice and following Christ daily is what leads us into the abundant life of fruitfulness that Jesus promised (John 15). Recognizing God’s voice protects us from wandering into dangers that would destroy us personally, or wreak havoc with our families or churches! Listening to God and following His guidance opens a whole new adventure into blessing, grace and eternal achievement. Most importantly, listening and following are essential to an abiding, loving relationship with God – that is what He desires most from us and we need most in Him!
Are you cultivating a heart that listens in love?
Praying the Scriptures
Praying the Scriptures is a powerful way to enhance your prayer life! Praying God’s Word (verses from the Bible) back to Him is a way to align your thoughts with His will about particular matters. It is also a great way to intercede for others when you are not sure how to pray for them according to God’s will.
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” John 15:7
Here is an example of personalizing Scripture in our own prayer time
Colossians 1:9-13 (NLT) “So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.”
Personalized in a Prayer:
God, I ask you to give complete understanding to Shawna about what You want to do in her life. Please make her wise with spiritual wisdom so her life will always honor and please You and she will continually do good, kind things for others. Teach her to know You better and better. Also, strengthen her with Your power so that she will have all the patience and endurance she needs – I know she is struggling with… May she be filled with joy, always thanking You, her Heavenly Father, who has enabled her to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light. Cause her to remember that she has been rescued from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, & that You have brought her into the Kingdom of Jesus.
*Additional Resources to Consider:
31 Days of Prayer (Ruth Myers)
Face to Face (Kenneth Boa)
Daily Light (Anne Graham Lotz)