Thoughts on Prayer: Hearing God’s Voice

It is vital that we pray for our ministries and those in leadership especially those serving on the mission field.  It has been said that prayer is when we talk to God and meditation is when he speaks to us.  I suppose that makes sense to a point.  I would like to suggest prayer is dialog between God and his own.  If so, then we could say the conversation we have with God is our relationship with him.  Some skeptics might question whether or not we can actually hear the voice of God (either audibly or inaudibly).  The Bible teaches we can hear the voice of God.  When the Jews were trying to get Jesus to prove that he was the Messiah he responded, “…How long dost thou make us to doubt?  If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one” (John 10:24-30 KJV).  If we are his sheep we can hear the voice of our Good Shepherd!  To go a step further for our consideration of prayer we can examine how this actually takes place.  If we are “born again” we have the Spirit of God living within us and therefore we are his.   As Paul teaches, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:9-11 KJV).  If the Holy Spirit resides within the regenerated believer (and he does) then it makes sense that the voice of God would come from within and not externally.  However, God could speak internally or externally because he is God!  God speaking to us does not necessarily have to be heard from our outer ear and travel inward.  We can hear the voice of God from within.  The key is to be able to discern his voice.  As sheep we should be able to recognize his voice.  Here is a hint…  It is the voice of love, grace, and forgiveness.  I do believe it is essential to apply Paul’s teaching on prayer in Ephesians 6 to our lives and pray on “The Whole Armor of God.”  Jesus is everything we need and without him we are doomed.

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