My relationship with Jesus was totally revolutionized by the introduction of listening prayer into my devotional life. For me it started with a book called “Can you Hear me?” by Brad Jersak. This book introduces or re-introduces the idea that God can and does speak directly to those who follow him. Though many of us find it easy to accept that God spoke to people in Old Testament times (Elijah, Samuel, etc) and to the disciples in the New Testament (Peter, Paul, etc.), we find it hard to believe he could speak directly to us.
“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” – John 10:4
But God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Not only that, but when Jesus ascended He left us the gift of Holy Spirit, our direct access to God the Father and the Son. Jesus himself said that we would see and do even greater things than He did! How is that possible without constant and clear communication with God the Father?
However there are many obstacles which stand in the way of us hearing God’s voice directly. Whether it be a life of distraction (iphone beside the bed, anyone?), un-confessed sin, or doubt, there are many things that keep us from hearing God’s voice clearly. However, I believe that hearing God’s voice is something we can practice and become more proficient at over time. We can learn to tune in and recognize the voice of God and when we do, it will bring a new and exciting level of intimacy with Jesus.
When was the last time you asked God a question and then really waited and listened for an answer?
I so often lay all my requests before God and then close my prayer journal and move on with my day without ever taking time to hear an answer. When we do this we treat God more like an answering machine than a loving Father who wants two-way communication with us. And why is it so hard for us to believe that God would actually answer us? Some say, “What if it’s just my own thoughts or imagination I’m hearing?” or “What if it’s not God I’m hearing?” These are valid questions but here’s a thought.
Our entire faith is based on the belief that a man died and was raised from the dead! If you really believe that then you’re already crazy!! Is is such a stretch to believe that the God who can raise the dead can speak directly to you?!?
So if you’re intrigued with the idea of listening prayer here are a few resources for you to check out:
“Can you Hear Me?” by Brad Jersak
“If this were a dream what would it mean” by Murray Dueck
Why not start today with taking a few minutes to ask God this question:
God what gift do you want to give me today?
Why this gift?
As you wait and listen remember, every good and perfect gift is from God! If what you hear is good and lines up with scripture, why couldn’t it be from God?