Why “Read Your Bible and Pray” is Inadequate

Why hearing God’s voice is as big as the universe and “read your Bible and pray” comes up short.

read the bible

Before you have a conniption fit let me say clearly:

I read the Scriptures regularly, meditate on them, and study them. I teach the Scriptures and am a person of prayer.

There are different kinds of prayer talked about in Scripture:

  • supplication
  • intercession
  • thanksgiving
  • fellowship, etc.

Prayer for a Christian is like breathing. 

But I still believe prayer and Bible-reading are lacking. Although the Scriptures are extremely important Len Sweet says, “The Bible is a roadmap and compass that escorts us to a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Some Christians have canned answers for everything. Have you ever heard, “read your Bible and pray?” I’ve said those words to my embarrassment.

For instance, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

How do I do that exactly and the typical answer is, “just read your Bible and pray.” 

What about this one? “Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. How do I hear the Lord for myself? You got it, “just read your Bible and pray.”

“Read your Bible and pray” is not practical or specific enough. I know people who tried to follow this formula without success and as a young believer, I tried to follow this advice.

But when it came time to apply the advice I didn’t know where to start. The fact is to “read your Bible and pray” has left many believers frustrated and living in denial.

Conversational Prayer and hearing God’s voice in comparison is the difference between day and night. That’s why hearing God’s voice is as big as the universe but “read your Bible and pray” comes up short.

But despite that, I want to leave you with two practical thoughts to ponder. I don’t have all the answers but I’m learning just like you.

First Thought

The Apostle Paul solves part of this problem for us.

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, NIV)

When your mind is governed by the Spirit you experience life and peace within. The effect of hearing His voice within will often be rest, peace, joy, and encouragement.

The reverse happens, when we step out of God’s revealed will. We have a sense of death on the inside. You will feel troubled and disturbed.

But Conversational Prayer is experienced by life and peace.

Second Thought

Finally, since Christ lives in you by the Spirit, you now have a new awareness beyond just human thought. It’s not as easy as just saying“Read your Bible and pray” because there’s a learning curve to hearing God’s voice. But the benefits are worth it.

 

Conversational Prayer (because He Calls You His Friend)

He is saying to you, 

Have I really got all your heart? I know all about your weaknesses and your failures, but, really, is your heart on my side?

In this post you will learn:

1. Jesus calls you friend

2. What’s the nature of this friendship

3. What’s the proof of this friendship

4. What’s this friendship based on

he calls me friend

Do you know Jesus calls you friend?

You are my friends. . .

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.

Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” (John 15:13-16 Message Bible).

In this post you will learn:

  • Jesus calls you friend
  • What’s the nature of this friendship
  • What’s the proof of this friendship
  • What’s this friendship based on

 

1. Jesus Calls You Friend

Conversational Prayer is about being His friend. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it? Wherever you find a healthy relationship, you find friendship. Even in a happy marriage a husband and wife can be best friends.

What a great thing to hear a Father say, not only my son but my friend. Likewise, when Jesus said, you are my friends, He meant more than You are My disciples’ and you are My followers.

He could have said, you are my acquaintances. But when He said, you are my friends He went beyond anything else. I think that the Lord Jesus found joy in His heart when He used that phrase. Can’t you see the satisfaction of His heart in this word, friend?

What must the disciples felt when they heard, Ye are my friends? You can’t go any deeper in a relationship than to come into friendship. How rich and how precious to hear these words, you are my friend!

Think about the picture of the new Jerusalem at the end of the Bible when it says: “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones” (Revelation 21:19).

I see the foundation of that city is most precious, and I sense the most precious foundation of life is friendship. The new Jerusalem will be built upon the foundation of the friendship between the Lord Jesus and His own.

Finally, do you see the connection of the foundation of the city and  Conversational Prayer in Revelation 21:19?

2. What’s the Nature of This Friendship? 

We have it in John 15, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does, but I have called you friends: for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you.”

Friendship makes it possible to open your heart fully, nothing hidden; and to have confidence you can trust the other person with all that is in your heart.

Jesus said, “All that the Father has shown Me I have shown you. I have kept nothing back from you. I have put perfect confidence in you. I have had no suspicions of you and have not been afraid to say just what was in My heart.”

How wonderful is that?!

But look at the Gospel of John and Chapter two. “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did.

But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men, and because he needed not that anyone should bear witness concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).

Jesus knows all men, so He doesn’t commit Himself to them… “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus” (John 3:1), and you see that Jesus knew Nicodemus and He did not commit Himself to him. Nicodemus was not in the place of a friend yet. 

Before the burial of Jesus Nicodemus wasn’t his friend but afterword something had happened to him by that time. Jesus means in effect, Before I can commit Myself to you, Nicodemus, you must be born again.

Once you’re born again your friendship with Jesus begins. Yes, Jesus tells us that the real nature of friendship is to commit yourself to Him. Isn’t that precious?

There is all the difference between conversation and fellowship and commitment. Friendship means that you have committed yourselves to one another – you have really put yourself into the hands of the other person.

Jesus said friendship means: “All things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.” This is Conversational Prayer at it’s finest!

Just think that the Son of God should do that – that He would be willing to commit Himself to some people.

3. What’s the Proof of This Friendship? 

First, it’s committing yourself to Jesus.

So when Jesus said this, “Greater love hath no man than this. That a man lay down his life for his friends” is the proof of friendship. How much are you prepared to sacrifice, to suffer and to put up with?

“A man lays down his life for his friends.” What does that mean? Does that mean physically dying in some way for your friends?

There are a thousand ways of laying down your life for your friends. It’s a matter of laying down our lives all the time – not just some big act of physically dying for our friends. 

Letting something of ourselves go, letting some personal interest go and just saying, That is not so important – it is for my friend. Friendship makes everything else unimportant.  

Finally, what is laying down our life? There’s many ways of laying down our life. It’s understanding that nothing is too valuable or important to be kept from our friend. It does not matter what it costs, or how painful it is – friendship makes it possible.

There’s only one man in all the Bible who was called God’s friend. “Abraham… the friend of God” (James 2:23). What a wonderful thing to be said of any man – “Abraham, my friend.”

How could God call Abraham His friend? What made Abraham a friend of God? “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love… and offer him” (Genesis 22:2).

Did Abraham say? You’ve got to be kidding me. Isaac is too precious. He is everything to me. No way, I can’t offer him!

No, Abraham did not talk like that. I don’t think Abraham started out being called God’s friend but as he journeyed with God a deep friendship developed.

How precious when it says, “And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and he clave the wood for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:3).

I don’t know about you, I bet that if you were faced with the decision to offer your only son you wouldn’t get up early in the morning!  Why could Abraham do it?

Why not put it off and stay in bed as long as possible? But it says, “Abraham rose early in the morning.” What was he about to do? He was about to enter right into the heart of God in giving his only begotten son, and enter right into fellowship with the passion of God’s heart.

“God so loved… that He gave His only begotten Son.” It was because Abraham was God’s friend. He had entered right into the heart of God and counted nothing too precious for friendship with God.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”, and his act of offering Isaac was proof Abraham indeed laid down his life.
4. What’s the Basis of This Friendship? 

Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him in the coming days, and it was getting near to the day when they would all leave Him, and yet, knowing all that, He said, Ye are my friends.

More was happening than meets the eye. Jesus was looking beyond the Cross, and seeing the day would come when these men would stand firmly on the ground of the Cross and resurrection.

Jesus knew what was going to happen in the next few days, but He was always speaking to them about afterward. Human failure is never the last thing and was not going to be the end of everything.

Remember Peter’s failure? Poor Simon Peter, “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.

Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” (Luke 22:32 Message Bible).

You are going to have a terrible fall, but that is not going to be the end. You will turn again and you will have a great ministry afterward.

But Jesus also saw something else. He knew that before long they would receive the Holy Spirit and would be governed by Him.

And when the Holy Spirit has full possession a person can be trusted. These men could not be trusted without the Holy Spirit, but when He came in, then Jesus could depend upon them.

Jesus’ disciples wouldn’t be governed by personal interests, but they would live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. And Jesus said, “Based on the fact you are My friends, and that day is as though it is now. You are My friends because I know that you are men standing on the firm foundation of the Cross and resurrection.”  

This is the basis of friendship. If we live on your own human resources then the Lord will never be able to depend upon you, but if you’re governed by the Holy Spirit, the Lord has all that’s necessary for Him to say, You are my friends. That makes me want to shout for joy.

Many times we don’t know how weak we are, but He knows. Yes, the disciples were men of many weaknesses and many failures and often they didn’t have a clue what was going on. They said the wrong thing and many times did the wrong thing, but Jesus knew that He had their hearts.

Has He captured your heart? Do you have a heart for Him? You may have made mistakes, but He knows all about that, and He knows if you have a heart for Him.

They had a heart for the Lord, and that is the basis of friendship. And He is saying to you too, Have I really got all your heart? I know all about your weaknesses and your failures, but, really, is your heart on my side?

Finally, the Holy Spirit is not somebody who came at Pentecost many years ago. He’s here today and can be in you, and if He really has the control of your life the one thing which concerns you most is, How does my life affect the Lord Jesus? Are you His friend?

 

Do You Find it Hard to Pray Effectively?

Find out the secrets to praying effectively.

Find out Stephen Crosby’s secrets to effective prayer.

I love Stephen Crosby’s secrets to effective prayer. Also Check out his blog at www.stevecrosby.org. 

Stephen Crosby posted this on Facebook this morning so I’m passing it on to you.

“So, 44 years and counting of being a follower of Jesus and I think I finally have prayer figured out. Here are my secrets. I start with this:

1. I don’t understand. 
2. I don’t know how to pray. 
3. Holy Spirit, spirit of prayer, pray through me and teach me to pray.

After I am finished with that then I go to:

1. I don’t understand. 
2. I don’t know how to pray. 
3. Holy Spirit, spirit of prayer, pray through me and teach me to pray.

After hitting that “level” I go to:

1. I don’t understand. 
2. I don’t know how to pray. 
3. Holy Spirit, spirit of prayer, pray through me and teach me to pray.

And then when I am finishing I go to:

1. I don’t understand. 
2. I don’t know how to pray. 
3. Holy Spirit, spirit of prayer, pray through me and teach me to pray.

There. Ain’t that ‘revelatory” – -(sarcasm alert!!)

For those who cannot tell, that is really how I pray these days, but I am having some fun at the expense of purveyors of “secret spiritual techniques” and some of the similar kinds of nonsense and spiritual gymnastics we often go through.”

I respect Stephen Crosby – he’s a man of wisdom. Not only wisdom but honesty to boot.

Comments followed after he posted on Facebook:

” I often add “save me from myself!”
Stephen Crosby – “Oh yeah, pray that all the time . . .should have had that #4!”

” My problem seems to be that I’ve just recently learned to pray without ORDERING God to do things my way. David E Fredrickson provided a clue last year when he wrote the post about being honest (painfully, I mean) with God. But a lot if it is also what you just said!”

“Wow! I thought something was wrong with me. My prayer life has Shifted…I literally do not know how to pray anymore!
It’s like I have forgotten”

“I keep it simple.. just praying in tongues (and so now and then with my mind)…”

“So… you don’t ask God to find you a parking place or help you find your phone? NO… seriously… I love this post. I don’t know how to pray either, so I just talk to Father while I’m driving or cooking or watching the birds at the bird feeders. I love the Thomas Merton prayer… the idea that I don’t know how to “please God”, but that God is pleased that I simply desire to please Him. He is pleased with you, Stephen. I’m certain of that.”

“My favorite and sometimes only prayer for a situation is…”Jesus, live your life through me!”

I loved his secrets, I could identify, can you?

7 Different Benefits You Reap of Understanding God’s Word

How can you enter into Conversational Prayer if you don’t know who we are praying to?

ephesians-1-17

Knowing the different levels of the Word of God is important but the seventh is critical for entering into true Conversational Prayer.

In this post I will list the 7 different levels of knowing God’s word. Also, you will find out why knowing the seventh level is an important key to knowing the one true God.

1. The first level of benefit comes from reading Scriptures.

2. The second level of benefit comes from meditating on the Word.

3. The third level of benefit comes when you study the deeper meaning of the Scriptures.

4. The fourth level of benefit comes when we study the Hebrew and Greek words.

5. The fifth level of benefit comes by the change that happens in you when a word or phrase is revealed to you.

6. The sixth level of benefit comes as God’s Holy Spirit writes the Scripture on your heart.

7. And the seventh level comes when God speaks to you directly by the indwelling Holy Spirit who dwells within you and upon you, and flows out from you to others.

Conversational Prayer deals with the seventh level of understanding God’s Word.

The result of the seventh level is a change in your circumstances. From Genesis to Revelation you read stories about people who heard God speak to them and their circumstances changed.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. As you study Noah, Abraham, and Moses’ parents you see what their circumstances were like before God spoke to them.

After God spoke to them and they acted on what He spoke, their outward circumstances changed. Not only did the circumstances change but they were changed because they acted on the information God gave them.

True Conversational Prayer changes you. As you get to know God better you trust Him more.

“I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him.” (Ephesians 1:17)

Paul’s prayer above speaks of the seventh level of knowing the Word. Knowing Him comes by the impartation of the Holy Spirit. But who is it the Holy Spirit’s revealing?

Think about it – when you talk about God to others, how do they know what God you are talking about? Our English words God and Lord do not define who the one true God of Israel is.

An example is Buddhists refer to Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. The Hindus worship some thirty-three million gods and goddesses.

No wonder we need the Holy Spirit to reveal “the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through deepening intimacy with him.”

We need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the one true God of Israel. When we know Him for who He is we desire to hear His voice.

“For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 1:11)

The Lord’s name is great. My research reveals the name of the one true God is mentioned more than sixty-five hundred times in the Scriptures. Wow, how important is that? True conversational Prayer knows the one the Holy Spirit reveals.

How can we enter into Conversational Prayer if we don’t know who we are praying to? Many believers today pray because someone told them that’s what you do after you become a Christian.

Where is God? It’s like a thick fog – you know somethings there but you can’t see clearly. But once the Holy Spirit imparts the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation the fog lifts and you can see clearly who He’s talking about.

If we can understand who we are praying to and how glorious He is we won’t be afraid, or struggle with Conversational Prayer. We will trust Him more, knowing that we have a great God.

 “This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3 Message Bible)

How can you call out to someone without knowing his or her name? Because when I don’t know another person’s name, my relationship remains at a distance, doesn’t it?

Our relationship with God is the same way. Therefore if we say we have a close relationship with the one true God, yet we don’t truly know His name, how intimate are we?

Can you honestly say that you have a moment-by-moment sense of connectedness with the one true God who the Holy Spirit reveals?

I’m asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you spiritual wisdom; and revelation so that you will know him better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Trying to Fix Yourself (because it’s the Best Advice You’ve Never Heard)

Are you worn out from willpower?

You’re not alone.

willpower

Stop Trying to Fix Yourself

How’s your willpower holding out?

You’re not alone. Everyone comes to the stark reality sooner or later that willpower can’t fix you. My wake up call was 1990 when life came to a screeching halt and my eyes were opened to the lie I believed. I’m the master of my fate – all I have to do is grunt and try harder. That’s a BIG LIE.

My prayer life was almost nonexistent. I mean I prayed maybe 5 minutes in the morning. I was too busy working for God and trying to fix myself that prayer dropped by the wayside. Anyway, my prayer up till that time was more “doing it out of duty”  than delighting in the Lord’s presence. Prayer for me was boring, dry, and stale.

Many Christians begin with a commitment to pray, like making a New Years resolution, but in a couple of weeks, it’s gone by the wayside. They fall back into willpower. 

Henneke points out, “Research has never proved that willpower can be practiced and strengthened. Even worse, research suggests that telling ourselves we lack willpower (and that we need to strengthen it) is enough to prevent us from implementing our plans.”

Even research is ahead of the Christian community, they still try to fix themselves to no avail. I was a Christian who lived without prayer most of the time and didn’t understand the power of God. Looking back now, it was if I was saying, I don’t need you, God, I’m doing just fine by myself thank you.

I never said those words out loud, sad to say it, I took God for granted. Putting trust in willpower is a sure recipe for disaster just ask Paul the Apostle.

The Apostle Paul said, “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh: 

4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh: if any other man thinks to have confidence in the flesh, I yet more. . .” (Philippians 3:3-4 TPT)

At one time Paul boasted in his self-will (flesh) until He met the living Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. No wonder he had a PhD in “walking in the Spirit.”  His wasn’t book learning but a PhD in life experience and knowing self-will will always fail you. Paul experienced both and gave up “Walking in the flesh” for “Walking in the Spirit.”

I’m still growing in the area of Conversational Prayer. My relationship with God is deeper and richer now because I’ve found out God constantly communicates with us through the Scriptures, our hearts, our circumstances, our spirit and through prayer.

I’ve come to know as I delight myself in the Lord He gives me the desires of my heart. 

I’d love to hear your testimony how the arm of flesh failed you but you are now “walking in the Spirit” because Conversational Prayer played a big part.
_________________________

Conversational Prayer – Helps and Tips to Get You Started

 

How to Engage with God and Pursue Conversationally Prayer

Do You Know Where You Fail in Conversational Prayer

Hear What Others Say About Conversational Prayer.

On the top right-hand sidebar, on the right, under Search Catagories, click on Conversational Prayer for more posts.

 

 

 

Listening Prayer (because You can Hear God Through His Thoughts

In this post, we’ll see how God shares His thoughts with you.

When you talk to God, do you ever feel like He’s not getting through to you?

When I was a young Christian I heard other Christians say God talked to them. I thought, what do they mean – does He talk to them audibly

If He’s talking to you will you know it when it happens?

In this post, I’ll show how God shares His thoughts with you.

  • by tuning in with God
  • by thinking God’s thoughts
  • by Knowing how you can tell if it’s God’s thoughts

Tuning with God

Did you ever talk to a friend and notice they’ve tuned you out? Glazed over eyes are a dead give away they’ve stopped listening. It’s like they’ve lost connection or like a dropped telephone call. You’re talking but your thoughts aren’t reaching they’re brain.  Many times God is speaking but we’ve tuned Him out – we’ve lost connection.

Don’t beat yourself up and don’t feel guilty because you’re not hearing God’s thoughts. His thoughts are coming through and knowing how to tune in to God’s thoughts is key.

“But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.” (I Corinthians 6:17)

Tuning in to God’s thoughts is one of the most common ways he communicates with you. You are joined Spirit to spirit with Him and He lets you in on what He’s thinking. God is relational and wants to talk with you. 

Conversational Prayer is hearing what’s on God’s mind. For two years I prayed for my husband Dick. I asked God to save him so he’d stop embarrassing the family. I said God change him. Nothing changed. Nano, zilch, nothing!

Dick got worse and I got more frustrated with God. I mean, I was talking to God but why didn’t He answer my prayer?

But one day this thought went through my mind, ask me to save Dick for my honor and glory. I thought, what a great idea, I never thought of that. Where do you think that thought came from?

I wanted Dick to stop embarrassing the family but God wanted a preacher. I repented (changed the way I was praying). God gave me advance information on how to pray for my husband and He answered my prayer.

I prayed two weeks after I received the advance information and Dick had a Damascus road experience with Jesus that forever changed his life. And a year later God called him into full-time ministry. Today is 2019 and Dick is still going strong.

On a side note. Intercession is praying for others and I thought I was doing that when I first started praying for my husband. I didn’t know then what I know today about praying for others.

When the Holy Spirit burdens you to pray about something on the Father’s heart, you find yourself coming into agreement with God’s intention for that person. Once I repented of my selfish way of praying for Dick  – that’s when God’s thoughts came into my mind. 

When the Holy Spirit burdens an individual to pray about something that is on God’s heart, you can be sure God will answer that prayer. For New Testament believers, intercession is a normal supernatural reality.

God’s purpose is for us to abide in Him, even as he abides in us.

“The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (I John 2:27)

God doesn’t want you groping in dark He wants you to hear His voice. Conversational Prayer is like breathing –  you’re not always thinking about breathing, but you are always doing it, aren’t you?

You are special.  As your awareness grows of Him in you and you in Him by the Holy Spirit—always in His presence, and filled with joy, you begin to see how special you are.  It’s just a part of Conversational Prayer. You are one of those special people

(We) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. (I Peter 2:9a)

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17a)

You’re a new creation, special to God and privileged with the potential to hear God’s voice for yourself. 

Conversational Prayer is hearing what’s on God’s mind.

God shared His thoughts with me about Dick and I was obedient and smart enough to act on His information. Actually, He even told me what to ask for.  

Before that, I groped in the dark because I didn’t have God’s mind about how to pray for Dick. I prayed soulish prayers but God had something else in mind. Once I had His thoughts, I was confident and knew God would answer my prayer.  

I use to think God could only speak to me during my morning devotions but if Conversational Prayer is hearing what’s on God’s mind, He can speak any time and anywhere. 

You don’t need to be connected to a special person, a special time, or a special place! When God downloaded His thoughts to me, I was standing at the kitchen sink,  washing dirty dishes – it blew my mind.

I wasn’t sitting in my prayer closet begging God to save Dick for His honor and glory. I was at the sink washing dishes when the thought, ask me to save Dick for my honor and glory, went through my mind.

God’s thoughts didn’t come from my pastor; it didn’t come during my devotions, and I wasn’t in the church building.

Thinking God’s thoughts

Hearing God’s thoughts is one of the most common ways the Holy Spirit speaks to us. God can download His thoughts into your daily life anytime He wants to because you have the mind of Christ.

“But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.

But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him].

For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
(I Corinthians 2:14-16 Amplified Bible) 

One reason some Christians don’t hear God’s thoughts is they’re not spiritual – they’re nonspiritual. The nonspiritual man doesn’t know he can receive God’s thoughts any time day or night. He knows he’s going to heaven when he dies but in the meantime, he’s hearing impaired.

Has someone ever come to your mind you hadn’t thought about in a long time? But today for some reason, you can’t stop thinking about them, and you find out that they are in the hospital. You heard what was on God’s mind for this person. They needed prayer and God tapped you on the shoulder so to speak and gave you the gift of the word of knowledge. It came in the form of thoughts.

My marriage is a good example of hearing God’s thoughts. Dick may start out talking about an issue and a thought goes through my mind. I talk to him about the thought I just had and we come to realize our thoughts are synchronized with God’s thoughts.

I believe hearing what’s on God’s mind is more common than we realize. We need to know this is one way the Holy Spirit communicates with us and it comes so naturally, we miss it.

Is it God’s thoughts?

A strong warning is in order here. Not all thoughts that come into your mind are from God. A good idea may be good but is it God’s idea? I’m learning that God’s thoughts are smarter and wiser than me.

A thought from God is not part of your thinking process. Remember how I started out praying for Dick? God save Dick so he won’t embarrass the family any longer. That was my human thought coming out of my human reasoning. But when God downloads His thoughts into your mind they have nothing to do with your thoughts.

You may see someone in a store who reminds you of a friend. That’s normal and part of the human thinking process. But when God speaks He can download His thoughts while you’re washing the dishes or mowing the grass. One minute your focus is on washing the dirty dishes the next thing you know God downloads a thought in your mind.

The devil, on the other hand, can work through our human thoughts too. His thoughts bring confusion, unrest, worry, and anxiety. He will rob you of your peace if he can so we need to draw our strength and might from God.

The devils’ thoughts come as reasonings, speculations, and imaginations. I had reasoned within myself that my life would be better if only Dick would change.  Do you see the lie in thinking this way? I imagined I didn’t have to change because it was Dick who had the problem. 

Every one of us has been tormented by the devils’ thoughts at one time or another. Yet it was God who designed our bodies with the ability to hear what’s on His mind. Awesome isn’t it?

Finally, Jesus is the pattern Son because He shows us what it means to hear what’s on God’s mind. 

“I can do nothing ·alone [by myself; on my own initiative]. I judge ·only the way I am told [as I hear], so my judgment is ·fair [just; right; righteous]. I don’t ·try to please myself [seek my own will/desire], but ·I try to please [the will of]the One who sent me.” (John 5:30 The Expanded Bible)

I love how the Expanded translation captures what listening prayer is. Jesus lived His life knowing the Father’s thoughts and so can you.

 

Conversational Prayer (because You’re not Separated From God)

Under the New Covenant not only are you standing before God you are in Christ and He is in you.

When this revelation becomes real in you, you no longer see God at a distance because now you know He dwells within you.

listen to god

Do you ever feel like God’s a million miles away? 

Many Christians know about God and their head is filled with information about Him but they’ve never known how close He is. In their mind, He’s distant and unapproachable. Many Christians have a misleading perception of separation from God.

Elijah spoke to King Ahab and said,  “As surely as God lives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.” (I Kings 17:1)

In reality what Elijah meant was, I may be standing before you King Ahab but I’m also standing in the presence of Almighty God.

But under the New Covenant not only are you standing before God you are in Christ and He is in you. When this revelation becomes real in us, we no longer see God at a distance because now we know He dwells within us.

Colossians 2:10 makes it clear, “And our own completeness is now found in him. We are completely filled with God as Christ’s fullness overflows within us. He is the Head of every kingdom and authority in the universe!” (Colossians 2:10 TPT)

I pray the Holy Spirit makes Colossians 2:10 real in you. May you sense the reality of who God is in you and know He’s closer than your breath. Now renounce the lie that God is distant and unapproachable.

Wrong teaching and the devil have misled us from the reality of God, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. You’re standing in His presence 24/7 so ask the Lord to make you aware of God’s thoughts.  Repent (change your mind) about your human opinions, your speculations, and distractions and begin today to expect to hear Him more.