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Listening to God in Prayer

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I spoke from Genesis 18:16-33 about the prayer of faith in a message entitled “Praying in the Midst of Promises and Problems.” One of the five types of prayer that I mentioned from that passage was the prayer of listening to God. One aspect of this passage from Abraham’s story in Genesis is that God reveals His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah.

When we pray, we often voice our needs to God but one important aspect of faith-filled prayer is listening to God. Listening to God enables us to enter into agreement with God and His purposes.

But one question all of us ask is: how do we listen to God?

davidpicDavid Bryant, a leader in prayer movements and prolific author on the topic of prayer, speaks to this in his book With Concerts of Prayer. In that book, Bryant encourages us to listen to God in four specific ways (page 200). I shared these in my message this past weekend and wanted to post them here so people could return to them:

  1. Study the Scriptures – Familiarize yourself with the mind, heart, and character of God through His inspired word. This is the foundation stone and basis for our life of prayer. When we listen to God in Scripture, what we pray for, the way we pray, and our expectations of the answers to prayer are brought into alignment with God.
  2. Be aware of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in your life – All who come to Jesus Christ by faith are now temples of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and strengthens us for daily life with God. Because of this, we need to grow in awareness and responsiveness to the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives. As we listen to the Holy Spirit in us, we begin to grow in awareness of how God is at work, which inspires our prayers.
  3. Learn what God is doing in the world today – Some of the most powerful movements of God happening today, are happening off the radar and in unexpected ways. When we pay attention to what God is doing around the world, it shapes not only how we live, but also how we pray. It lifts us into a greater awareness of what God is doing and how we can talk to Him about it.
  4. Talk to others about what you want to say to God – It is common to pray with others, but it is important to also talk to others about what we want to talk to God about. When we share our approach and thoughts about prayer with others, we also enter into a listening relationship that leads us closer to the heart of God with others.

A necessary tool for the journey of faith is a prayer that agrees with God through listening to His plans for all situations.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Discipleship, prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 52

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. (Psalm 127:1 NIV)

oh, Father,
keep me from failed efforts
and fruitless labors
in this day and the coming year.
I stop and bring all my hopes
and developing dreams
into Your presence.
may my desires and thoughts
be shaped according to
Your desires and thoughts.
may any plans or action steps
come from the overflow
of my will guided by Yours.
Jesus said, “apart from Me
you can do nothing,”
and so I humbly yield to You.
lead me, guide me, and speak to me.
shape, refine, and correct me.
may I step forward under Your light
or not step forward at all.
I lean into Your strong love.
I submit to Your boundless wisdom.
I love You and worship You.

Amen.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 51

Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. (Psalm 86:1 NIV)

oh, Father,

you see me,
both what I am and what I am not.
because of Your mercy,
open my life more fully to Your power and presence.
grace me with Your goodness
and widen my heart with Your compassion.
ground me in Your truth
and make me active with Your justice.

thank You, Father, for who You are:
forgiving and good,
abounding in love,
a joy-bringer,
a guardian,
trustworthy,
and One who answers prayer.

all my hope is in You. a

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 49

When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead. (Revelation 1:1 NIV)

Jesus,

You are complete in Your glory -
there is no other who perfectly displays the Father
there is no other whose very life sings forth the perfect mixture of goodness and greatness

You are overwhelming in Your power -
when the world was made, You were there
as the Word of the Father through whom all things were made
when lives are touched with the redemptive work of God,
You are the Word who brings new life and salvation

You are startling in Your humility -
not considering Your glory the sort of thing to cling to
You stripped down into earthy servanthood,
You considered the Father’s will worth living for
and humanity worth dying for.

I praise You.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 48

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 ESV)

Lord,
I am Your servant.
I am Yours completely.
I surrender and give to You all that I am.

I offer myself, like Mary, to You:
May it be unto me as You’ve said;
I will follow Your commands.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 47

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 94:22 NIV)

Lord God,
In this world with all sorts of promises
and all sorts of troubles,
I run to You for Your refuge.
There is no other so faithful
and no other so true.
I choose to turn from other ‘hopes’
and other promises of satisfaction
In order to seek my best hope
and satisfaction from You.

Bring rest to my soul
and strength to my body.
You are my God

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in prayers

 

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Saturday Prayer 46

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27, NIV)

Jesus,
You said that Your sheep will hear Your voice,
That You would call them out and call them in

During this day,
Open my ear that I might hear Your voice
Give me discernment to hear what is from You
and what is from another source
May I obey Your still small voice
As I listen to You through all today’s circumstances

In my activities today, may I live in Your presence
In my words today, may I speak Your words of truth
In my thoughts, may my meditations flow from Your mind

In You and by You,
Amen.

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in prayers

 

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