Summary: What happens when God prays?
THE PRAYER’S OF GOD - The spiritual discipline of listening in prayer
Prayer is not a one way conversation.
Yet, almost without exception we think of prayer as a human activity directed towards God. But prayer is also a divine activity directed towards humanity? Does God pray to us? It sounds unbiblical doesn’t it?
If your idea of prayer is like taking a shopping list to God, then I want to take you deeper in your prayer experience today.
Do you know, it’s not unbiblical at all to talk about the prayers of God. When we pray to God we should expect him to answer. The Bible itself is God’s answer. The Bible is a record of God’s appeals, requests, promises and plans for us. Genesis 12 records one of the great prayers of God and it shows us that prayer is a dialogue in which God communicates with his people – his friends.
GE 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. GE 12:2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. GE 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." GE 12:4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.
1. GOD PRAYS TO US (v1a)
“The Lord had said to Abram” (v1)
Prayer is a two-way dialogue in which God speaks with us, but it is God who prompts us to pray not our own motivation. Jesus said as much,
JN 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.
What this means for us is that we should include time to listen when we pray. Prayer is not just a one way conversation with the sky – God is up there and he obviously has some things to say to us – we need to listen.
2. THE PRAYER EXPERIENCE AND LISTENING
When God speaks he usually reveals either something about himself, his purposes or his ways.
When God spoke to Abram he explained his purposes for him. Abraham was given three commands. First, God told Abram to “leave your country,” and next he told him to “leave your people, and your father’s household,” and finally he told him to “go to the land I will show you.”
But HOW do we listen? Just HOW do we hear the voice of God?
a. Develop the discipline of stillness
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Jesus led us by his example too. We read about his life that …. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
b. Invite God to speak
1SA 3:10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
c. Questions for God
For example you can ask, What’s next in my family?; What’s next in developing my character? What’s next in my career, relationships, education etc.
“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7)
d. Being tuned in to God’s voice
There are two reason people don’t hear the voice of God. The most obvious is that we’re not listening – we’re not scheduling time out with him.
In addition to carving out blocks of time to be still we need to tune the ears of our soul to God.
“live by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16).
3. THE PRAYER EXPERIENCE AND RESPONSE (v4)
The other reason we may not hear God’s voice is that we don’t plan to do anything about it.
Prayer is not enough. God expects us to do something or to be someone in response to our prayers. He wants us to have the privilege of being part of the answer to our prayers. And obedience shows God that we have in fact heard what he has said to us.
Abram answered the prayer that God offered to him with a resounding “yes Lord”.
In fact the two words “No Lord” are illogical when put together. When we say “No” to God he immediately ceases to be our Lord. That’s what it means for God to be our Lord. When we say “Yes” to God we consciously make him Lord – we make him and his demands our priority.
So when we feel a need for prayer in our heart we need to recognize that it doesn’t come from us. It’s our Father in heaven calling our name, wanting to speak to us – don’t give him an “engaged” signal.