70. Only rumours …or firsthand?

There is another principle to prayer that we often overlook.

 God initiates prayer. Not us. He speaks to get the exchange going.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Every time the words “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” occur in the New Testament, Jesus is the one who is speaking. This is no casual expression. It is the divine Son of God saying, “Don’t ever close your ears or your heart to your need to be taught.

How we listen will determine our prayer life.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Let us start at the beginning.

The story of the Garden in the Book of Genesis is all about words. It is recorded in words and it tells about words. The first words ever created – big time – bigger than ever or anything we might know.

Words brought the world into existence, words flung the stars into space; words spoke the light into being and set the oceans their boundaries. Then God formed man from the dust, the woman from the man and spoke a blessing over them to give them authority over all things.

The ancient Hebrews believed words are a unit a unit of energy that goes out and accomplish something. Therefore the blessing spoken could not be retracted. Once Isaac spoke the blessing of the firstborn over Jacob, it could not be undone and Esau had to accept a lesser blessing.

God’s first words to man was spoken in His Presence in that beautiful perfect garden.

PRINCIPLE for a life of excellence: God speaks. If He asks us to pray without ceasing, He will talk to us without ceasing!

Therefore My people shall know My name;

Therefore they shall know in that day

That I am He who speaks:

‘Behold, it is I.’” (Isaiah 52:6)

You cannot live on rumors of God – hearsay. Like Job (42:5) we declare: (The Message)

I admit I once lived by rumors of you;

    now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!

There in the Garden He sets the scene for constant communication. He never ceased to speak. Not even sin could thwart the voice of God.

I am not sure what you think of prayer. Just the word might bring bad associations – forced prayer, awkward moments, heartless prayers, judgmental prayers, long windedness, religious rituals and so forth. Just think for a moment what is your intellectual and emotional response to the mentioning of prayer. Are you excited by the thought, or do you feel guilty? Are you hesitant or expectant? Do you feel indifferent; having decided long ago it doesn’t work or can you testify enthusiastically about recent answer to prayer?

MOMENT OF PRAYER: Express the desire to hear God’s voice.

Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden as royalty to reign over the magnificence of creation. They dwelt in perfect communication and entered into the rest God planned for them. Remember, their first day on earth was the Sabbath. One can never reign effectively and victoriously without entering into the rest of the Sabbath with God, relaxing and finding fellowship with Him.

That was the first, fabulous consequence of communication – rest and peace. Adam was a scientist. He worked every day and met God in the stillness of the evening. He named creation. It is science. Talk to anyone in the natural sciences and they will tell you they are still naming creation.

Then in the darkness that followed the decision to listen to that challenging half-truth of satan, came the distancing of shame and failure, fleeing from the Presence and conversation.

Satan questioned God’s words, and Eve added some of her own understanding when she said: we are not to eat or touch the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. God never said not to touch, only not to eat. Sin comes to us in various ways, but it is the participation and immersion in it, that corrupts and destroys. It exposes our nakedness without the covering of God’s Presence.

PRINCIPLE for a life of excellence:  Prayer is a conversation – initiated by God.

And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39,41,42)

Pray with me:

Lord, open my ears to hear what the Spirit says to he church, so that may I know Your plans and purposes on this earth.

 

Pray without ceasing.

69. Because He said so.

Prayer is a wonderful, ongoing learning experience. I would like to learn until that moment I know I am in His presence. In the meantime I want to live life in His kingdom IN His manifest presence so that I can be used to the life IN Him.

From the very first moment, I would like to pray that your imagination, your mind’s eye would be freed to receive the full impact of the Word. Let your mind pictures, your vision into the unseen, be loosed by the Holy Spirit to partake and enter into the mystery of God’s word and work.

And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.” Ezekiel 40:4

In this moment – take your thoughts captive and submit them to the Word of God. bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

You were brought here to see and hear.

MOMENT OF PRAYER: Full surrender, express your desire to be obedient and to learn, invite the Holy Spirit to teach. Confess and get rid of the “cares of this world”. Matthew 13:22.

PRINCIPLE for a life of excellence: listen for the Voice in the voice. We can frantically take comprehensive notes on everything that is said, but I would prefer that you listen carefully to the Holy Spirit and hear what you are supposed to hear NOW. You do not need to learn everything there is on prayer. You need to learn the next vital step to boost you prayer life to another level of victorious communication with God.

In the first place – congratulations. You are exactly where you should be. This is a good thought. Think about it for a minute. You do not have to be uncertain of your priorities for this time you spend on studying the Word of God.

It is not because I am writing this that I can say it. I am only a willing servant enabled by the Holy Spirit. Even my willingness is the work of the Holy Spirit. He works in me to will (Philippians 2:13)

You are at the right place because God says it. You know the code:

God says it; I believe it; period.

MOMENT OF PRAYER: If God says it, it is true and important above all things.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)

PRINCIPLE for a life of excellence: To know what is important.

The Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit have priority in this session. To know what is important is a basic life skill for which we have to trust God. Switch off the TV in the middle of the programme to listen to the child. Leave the housework when emotions run high and give full attention. Stop and pray to halt the enemy attack when a pattern of evil is identified. Chase the devil out when you see his handiwork. Stretch the minutes on praise and thanksgiving when the Holy Spirit ministers to your heart and mind.

Clean you mind and hear the Word of God:

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,

And the Lord listened and heard them;

So a book of remembrance was written before Him

For those who fear the Lord

And who meditate on His name. 

“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,

“On the day that I make them My jewels.

And I will spare them

As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

Then you shall again discern

Between the righteous and the wicked,

Between one who serves God

And one who does not serve Him. (Malachi 3:16-18)

MOMENT OF PRAYER: – your name is being written continuously before God (remember He is outside of time) by the great Scribe of heaven. Imagine the Throne room, with a larger than life desk and the most beautiful celestial being with a golden quill in his hand – writing your name.

PRINCIPLE for a life of excellence: to be recognized as a godly woman, discernable from the wicked, the evil and the ordinary.

My prayer for you is that: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:18)

 To be discernable from the wicked is to meditate on His name and discuss His ways amongst each other. Is this not exactly what we are doing this moment?

The only way to discern the godly from the wicked is a life in the Presence of our Father in intimate communication with Him. This one thing is what separates us from the world and organized religion.

Organized religion is not the church. We are the church of Jesus.

We who speak on His name, we who seek His face, we who meditate on His wonders, we are His jewels, precious and honoured in His sight.

Rejoice, dear pebble pals. This is you. You are His jewels.