1 Corinthians 12:31b (NAS)

And I show you a still more excellent way.
1Corinthians 12:31b (NAS)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Learning to Hear

One of the best tools I have found to help me with my prayer time is a Prayer Journal.  Through the years, I have tried various methods of keeping track of my prayer needs; which has resulted in a huge stack of spiral notebooks where I recorded the names of people I was praying for, answers to those prayers, along with sermon notes, and things I learned along the way.  But, the best method I found was one designed by Becky Tirabassi, a 3-ring binder with dividers and pages to record Praise to God for who he is, Admit my sins, RequestsThanks for blessings and answered prayers, Listening to hear what God is saying to me.  I recently purchased a new binder because the old one was falling apart, which afforded me an opportunity to review my old journal pages.  What I discovered when I reviewed these pages was a record of a decade long quest to hear God. 

Prayer should be a two-way conversation that includes speaking and then listening, not just reading off my laundry list of prayer requests.  Journaling my prayers, organized them so that I could keep track of my personal exchanges with God, or rather the Holy Spirit, who Jesus sent to be our teacher to guide us into all truth.  (John 16:13). 

In the Listening  section of my journal I would write down what I thought I heard him saying, then I would ask questions to discover if it was truly God's voice that I was hearing, or my own voice, or the voice of the enemy.  I used a lot of trial and error to try and figure this out, but found comfort in Jesus' promise in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me". 

Not only does Jesus promise us that we will know his voice, but we also have the scriptures which we can use to test what we have heard.  If it doesn't line-up with the Word of God, then its not truth.  In fact, many times his answer came through scripture verses that I "happened" to be reading that day.  Those verses would be exactly what I needed to hear. 

Other times, though, I had to wait on answers to my prayers.  Yet, God's timing is perfect and time will tell whether the thing was true or not by whether it comes to pass or not.  Learning to hear God is like learning to do almost anything, it takes practice.  The results are well worth the effort though, because spending time with God in prayer is how we learn to hear his voice. 

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