Summary: For a life changing prayer life we must learn to listen as well as speak to God.
We Can Hear the Voice of God in Prayer
Prayer: It is a great privilege and a great responsibility for the people of God. When Israel was going through a tough time in Her history and the people asked Samuel to pray for them, Samuel responded with these words:
“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.
But if ye shall still do wickedly ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.” (I Samuel 12:23-25)
We tend to think of prayer as a spiritual discipline where we talk to God. But the most important discipline in prayer is learning to hear God talking to you! Let’s learn some important lessons on how to hear God in prayer. How can we get Divine direction for our life & spiritual discernment for making decisions. Samuel knew how to listen in Prayer (I Sam. 8:6-7; 9:15; 16:7-12)
I.) If we are ever to hear God’s voice in
Payer we must first be convinced that He
wants to talk to us.
A.) “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing
by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17)
“Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (Jn.10:16)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life” (Jn. 10:27)
B.) Jesus will speak to us through the
ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:12-14 (also Eph. 2:18; Rom. 8:28)
“But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation (life style) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; & be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph. 4:20-22; Isa. 54:13)
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith” (James 1:5-6; Pro. 2:1-2, 10)
So we know God does want to talk to us. He expects us to be listening! When we understand that the most important aspect of prayer is listening it casts a totally new insight on I Thess. 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.” How can we “listen without ceasing?” Praying without ceasing goes hand in hand with meditating on the Word of God day & night (Ps. 1)
Illustration: Car Radio. (I Kings 19:9-13 Elijah, still small voice). One of my Professors at Seminary shared about a time he was driving to a speaking engagement with his wife. There was a storm coming so he needed to listen to the radio to hear the weather report. But he also wanted to talk to his wife. So he turned the radio on low just enough to hear it in the background as he talked to his wife. Then when the key words "weather report" were spoken he knew it was time to stop talking to his wife and turn the radio up so he could hear the weather report clearly. In a similar way we need to make sure we have turned our spiritual radio on every day in prayer. As we start our busy day we are tuned into God with the volume on low so when he needs to get an important message to us we will hear the key words related to our need at the time. Meditating on the Word of God day and night is how we keep the radio on. The Holy Spirit will enable us to hear the word we need to help get us through our day. But when the Spirit speaks we need to be still and listen. And He will give us the wisdom we need when we need it.