"Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer." R. A. Torrey
When I was a young person I prayed. I would pray and pray and pray. When I was a young person I was frustrated. I wondered why God never answered me. I would ask myself, why do other people "hear" His voice and I don't?
Have you asked yourself this question? Perhaps, you are like me when I was new in my faith. I think I was waiting for a burning bush or more likely a booming voice from the sky. What I realize is this. God in fact, was answering me. I did not know how to listen.
Do you know how to listen to God? When we discover the voice of God, His active and present voice in our lives, we will pray differently, we will live differently.
Discerning the voice of God begins with knowing God. How do we know God? Remember our first two lessons? It is through reading His word and prayer. (Click here) to read this series from the beginning.
In previous posts I reminded you that I am not the authority on prayer. There are many Christians who have written tons of books about the voice of God. However, what I will share with you is my personal and real experience of how I listen and hear the Lord speak to me.
There are several ways I hear from the Lord. The most common way is through reading His word.
You are aware by now that I sit with the Lord every morning to read the bible and pray. During this time as I read, the Lord will stir my heart. He speaks words of wisdom, advice, correction, and direction to me personally. Freaky but true. Awesome and humbling.
As I am reading, (this is difficult to explain exactly) I will finish a sentence and in a split second I feel or receive an impression. By this I mean, in the center of my chest, I feel something and immediately I receive a thought that was not mine. I will write it down in my prayer journal that is sitting next to me as I read.
Let me see if I can give you an example of how this works.
Daily Bible, February 22
This particular day included a passage from Psalm 39: 1-13. I began reading this:
(David speaking) I said to myself, "I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will curb my tongue when the ungodly are around me."
Immediately the Holy Spirit impressed me with a thought and I wrote the following in my prayer Journal: Lord, this scripture is for me. I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will curb my tongue when the ungodly are around me.
It appears I am just repeating the scripture but in fact, I am praying it now as a request and commitment to the Lord. The Lord desires me to pay attention to this passage. I am surrounded by unbelievers in my neighborhood, extended family, close family and in my own home. The Lord is specific here, directing me to pay attention, my words are more important than I realize. They affect the unbelievers with whom I interact. WOW! I mean WOW! It can be a heavy assignment, especially for me but the Lord will empower me to curb my words.
I hope this example reflects how the Lord speaks through His word. This same experience occurs while I am praying. I am impressed with a thought that is of the Holy Spirit.
It took time for me to learn to listen to this still small voice. It requires a personal relationship with the Lord and time with Him, lots of time. It requires a quiet environment. If you are praying or reading the word in a distracting place, you will struggle.
1 Kings 19:11b-12 Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
Remember the Lord's voice was not in the wind, neither in the earthquake nor the fire but in the whisper. Afterall, when was the last time you saw a burning bush that did not burn?
I hear from the Lord through His word and during prayer but I have also heard from Him in rare and profound moments of intense need or protection. He will make Himself known through a strong impression usually at night. God likes to wake me up. I think it's because that is the only time I am not running on high octane aka Starbucks and going a million miles a minute.
The Lord wakes me with a strong impression to pray. I pray for the person He places on my heart by name. Prayers of protection, intercession, love, etc. I am often wakened to pray for my unsaved husband. Until God decides I have prayed long enough, I can't return to sleep.
In addition, I wake from a sound sleep when He gives me something to write. You should know I write very little without His help.
The last time I woke from a sound sleep was in late November of last year. You probably didn't know but at that time but I was enduring one of the biggest battles with the enemy over a physical stronghold in my life. This battle had been brewing for years but became nuclear two weeks before this encounter below:
At 4:45 a.m. I woke from a dead sleep. I literally sprang straight up in bed as if I had been injected with 20 cc's of adrenaline. I flung the covers off, jumped from bed and ran to my computer. The Lord had given me a message I was to share with 1Petere3Living. At 4:45 a.m. on an early November morning, I was cured. Cured I tell you. Released from a bondage I was unable to escape by myself. It was supernatural. It was humbling. I am forever thankful.
Suffice it to say, this experience occurs rarely in a believers life.
I am convinced that because I have listened to the Lord in the small things, I was able to experience this major big thing.
Assignment: This is the week to read God's word and let Him speak to you. Don't rush through your reading. Some of you need only take a single verse to work through for the entire week. Write the impressions that come to you. Check them with scripture, pray over them asking the Lord to clarify and direct you regarding the words you are reading.
Questions:In what specific instance did you know the Lord was speaking to you?
When the Lord speaks, do you obey?
Are you praying more of you Lord, less of me?
What an amazing time we live in. We have the GIFT of the Holy Spirit and can actually hear the Lord talk to us. Amazing. Humbling. Fantastic!
Have a wonderful week listening to the Lord. Write me and tell me about how you have heard from Him this week.
Next week, interceding for others. Still to come, praying dangerous prayers and our closing. Thank you for hanging with me through this series. Your time is a valuable gift and I am honored you choose to spend it with me. Be Blessed, Lynn