This week I want to challenge you all to spend some time listening to God’s voice.
It’s amazing how God shows up when we just take the time to listen to Him and obey.
He can connect us with people we weren’t even thinking about. This morning, I was reminded of Lydia Mathew in Gujarat and have decided to call her. She and her husband Dilip have planted a vineyard in Ahmedabad. I just want to encourage her. It looks like we will be able to talk tomorrow.
Learning to hear the Lord’s voice isn’t complicated, but it does require some discipline to find a quiet place and to allow some time to just listen. Try this sometime soon: (we learned this during a training we had recently)
- Sit quietly. Assume that you’ll want/need about 30 minutes. Sit quietly. When you are ready, calm your heart and mind by reading some Scripture. If stray thoughts come through your mind, write them down on a separate piece of paper so you can address them later.
- Ask specific questions.
- When you are ready, ask God to protect you in Jesus’ name from deception (Mt. 28:18, Lk 10:19-20; 2 Cor. 10:5), and promise to obey what He says.
- Ask the Lord to speak to you in a way that you can understand. Begin with your sin. Ask God to show you anything you need to confess. he will not be vague. If you have unconfessed sin, He will reveal it to you. Confess and receive His forgiveness. Write down whatever He says to you in your journal.
- When you are ready, focus on your question for prayer. Sit quietly. Wait. Listen. God may direct you to a specific passage of Scripture. You may hear a specific word in your heart/mind. You may get an image in your mind. Whatever you feel He may be saying to you, write it down.
- Commit to obey whatever He commanded you to do. Thank Him for speaking.
- A suggested starting prayer: Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus Christ,, Your Son, according to what is written in James 1:5, I am seeking wisdom for __________. I ask, Father, that only Your Holy Spirit will speak to me as I wait on you for wisdom, insight and direction for __________, and what You show me and direct me to do, I will quickly obey.
Rick and I also have been using an app on our phone called ECHO for writing down prayers and sharing them with each other. Each night we have been praying for three requests for five minutes each taking turns with short sentence prayers. It’s been a useful tool for us as we pray 5-5-5 – just fifteen minutes together, using a timer on our phone.
Let us know how this works for you and our prayers are with you all. We are praying for our neighbors. This evening, I decided to walk downstairs to the garage and saw two of the neighbors we have been praying for. God is with us. If we will go, He will be with us and show us His heart for people. Please pray for us as we seek to impact our neighbors here in Chicago.