1 – Pray John 17 (and Learn How You can Thrive in Your Relationship With Jesus)

To fully comprehend the power of the blessing and prayer in chapter 17, we must first understand the very name Jesus came to reveal.

How can you be close-knit with someone if you don’t know what his or her name is? 

pray john 17

Pray John 17 is a devotional and leads you through the prayer of Jesus in John 17. As you pray along with Jesus, you will experience an impartation of the Holy Spirit upon you, your family, friends, and the world.

But right from the start, before you begin to pray through John 17, you need to look closely at the name of the Father Jesus keeps pointing to in John 17.

To fully comprehend the power of the blessing and prayer in chapter 17, we must first understand the very name Jesus came to reveal. How can you be close-knit with someone if you don’t know what his or her name is? 

As you will see, Jesus didn’t just want us to know information about His Father, He wants you to truly know Him and encounter the Father’s presence just like He did.

To truly know God the Father’s name we need to go back to the Old Testament. I don’t know about you but I was taught years ago you could not find any mention of the heavenly Father in the Old Testament because the heavenly Father was only revealed in the New Testament.

Since praying John 17 and receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit I see the heavenly Father is mentioned many times in the Old Testament.

 When you talk about God to others, I wonder what God they think you are talking about. Did you ever think about that? Warren M. Marcus, a Messianic Jewish believer and an avid student of the Bible says, “The English words God and Lord do not define who the one true God of Israel is.

For instance, Buddhists refer to Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. The Hindus worship some thirty-three million gods and goddesses.”

When you begin to understand who your heavenly Father truly is by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and begin praying to the Living God of Israel, (your heavenly Father), you are praying to the one true God of Israel.

“For you have not received the spirit of slavery again to fear. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we car, “Abba, Father.” ~ Romans 8:15

Abba is the Hebrew term for “Daddy.” When was the last time you called your heavenly Father “Daddy”? It’s OK to see yourself as a little child when you go before your heavenly Father.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, “Abba Father!” ~ Galatians 4:6

“I made the earth, formed it, and set it in place. My name is the LORD. This is what the LORD says: Call to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know.” ~ Jeremiah 33:2-3

What we see here is that the hidden sacred name of the one true God is actually in the original Hebrew Scriptures. In the above scripture, God calls out to us to seek Him and speak to Him in prayer.

Well, how do you call out to someone if you don’t know his or her name? A good question isn’t it? Say my husband and I get separated in a large room packed with other people, and I can’t find him, what do I do?  I call out his name, “Dick, where are you?”

In the same way, if we say we have a close-knit relationship with the one true God, (our heavenly Father), yet we don’t truly know His name, how intimate can that be?

I must confess since praying through John 17 and seeing Jesus manifest the Father’s character and the indwelling Holy Spirit, my life has changed like never before.

Before I pictured God my heavenly Father sitting in heaven on a great BIG throne, far-flung out in space and hard to approach directly. But as I continued my search over the years, and praying John 17 I have discovered that His desire is to make Himself known to me.

He wants me to know Him in a close-knit way. He’s always reaching out to me, desirous to communicate with me face-to-face, longing to impart His very person, His character, His power and authority upon me in a supernatural way.

Jesus knew the Father’s name when He said,

“Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what he sees the Father do. For whatever He does, likewise, the Son does.” ~ John 5:19

“For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” ~John 12:49

What I want you to see is that Jesus was the living character of God the Father for us to see! Remember we are yoked to Jesus and He will not be mad with you, abuse you, or have a short fuse with you.  Since you are yoked with Jesus you have the covering of the name of the Father over you and in you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Marcus, a Messianic Jewish believer says, “In Hebrew thinking, a name isn’t a label or a tool merely used to distinguish one person from another.

A person’s name is viewed as equivalent to the person himself. A person’s name signifies their person, worth, character, reputation, authority, will, and ownership. Everything they have and everything they are is reflected in their name.”

Jesus came to reveal the name of the Father. So who do we go to, to know the Father’s name? I came across this Scripture years ago that answers that question.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” ~ Luke 10:22

So I’ve come to know Jesus is the one who shows us who the Father is because He knows the Father’s name. He didn’t learn it out of a book. He was with the Father before the foundation of the world. How do I know that? Jesus tells us in John 17. Oh what glory,

“THE GLORY I HAD WITH YOU BEFORE THE WORLD WAS” (John. 17:5)

Awesome isn’t it?

Since writing this book in 2016, I see something else the Holy Spirit is drawing my attention to. It is the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27. My eyes have been opened to see Jesus is the fulfillment of this blessing. You will come to see this too as you pray through John 17 with Jesus.

THE PRIESTLY PRAYER OF THE BLESSING

priestly blessing

In verse 22 the Lord said to Moses “Say to Aaron and his sons, you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

I want you to notice who the SOURCE of the blessing is. Who is the blessing from?

Is it from Aaron?

Is it from Moses?

No!

Why this is so important to know is, that when we come to John 17 we can ask the same question. When Jesus begins to pray and bless His disciples He uses the very same terms as God told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to use. That’s fascinating, isn’t it? You’ll see what I mean later.

You can see clearly that Aaron didn’t say, “Hey Moses, I have great this idea, this formula, that I think the children of Israel would be happy with.” The Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27 was not man made!

IT’S 100% GOD MADE!

So now you can see why Jesus our High Priest could use the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing when He blessed His disciples which included you – and every disciple then and NOW is included in this blessing.

And there’s more! As believers, we are called

“a chosen race who serve as Priests for The Kingdom, a holy people, a redeemed assembly; you should proclaim the praises of him who called you from darkness into his excellent light” (I Peter 2:9).

Now if you are not supernaturally experiencing the blessing of Jesus your High Priest yourself, how can you as Priests for The Kingdom pronounce this Priestly Prayer  Blessing over yourself and others?

That’s why I believe I was led to write this book, Pray John 17. I believe many will see John 17  with new eyes and begin to function in a level of Kingdom power and authority like never before.

Yes, because you are God the Father’s representatives on earth today and the Holy Spirit is indwelling you, as you speak out loud over yourself as you Pray John 17, it will be your voice speaking, but it will be Jesus Himself (our Great High Priest) speaking it through your mouth.

Have you ever thought, “who am I to call down a blessing upon someone?” Then I realized there’s nothing dependant on the “blesser” or the one pronouncing the “blessing”. But it’s “Him from whom all blessings flow”! We need to keep that in mind because,

GOD IS ALWAYS IN CHARGE OF BLESSINGS!

This blessing above was given by God Himself to Moses. It is the only recorded prayer given to us by God Himself. People will say, “But what about the Lord’s prayer?”

That is different from the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing. The Lord’s prayer is Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray to God. As you can see above, God told Moses to tell Aaron, the high priest, and his sons, to speak it over the children of Israel every day.

And they did this for 40 years. By doing this, God would place His name (His very person, His holy character, His power, and authority) supernaturally upon them. For forty years, as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, they received God’s favor in the way of supernatural provision, divine health, and angelic protection.

The more I understand the Priestly Blessing, the more I see the heavenly Father’s favor and how much He desires to bless His people. Not only do you see how the Living God of Israel (the heavenly Father) desired for the children of Israel to enter into a supernatural, experiential, and intimate relationship with the Him, Jesus desires the same for you.

I know you know that all the Old Testament and the teachings, in particular, are just shadow pictures of what was to come in Jesus – Colossians 2:17 and Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1.

So, I set out to see if the terms of the Priestly Blessing have found their fulfillment in Jesus. In other words, has Jesus fulfilled the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing found in Numbers 6:22-27?

As you pray through John 17 you will come to see that what was ordained by the living God to be regularly and ritually spoken over the children of Israel in the Old Testament, was fulfilled once and for all in Jesus our High Priest and recorded in the New Testament.

As you pray through John 17 you will see Jesus prayed and blessed His disciples and included YOU in the Priestly Blessing and its effects have not diminished throughout all generations since the night He spoke to His disciples.

I CALL THIS PRAYER AND BLESSING THE GREATEST PRAYER OF GRACE EVER PRAYED!

Pray John 17 leads you through the prayer of Jesus in John 17. As you pray along with Jesus, you will experience an impartation of the Holy Spirit upon you, your family, friends, and the world.

Jesus’ prayer changes your heart – transformation will come – Christ Jesus promised it!

I know believers who desire to experience daily dialog and face-to-face friendship with the living God because that’s what we are created for –  intimate fellowship with the Father in the here and now.

Not too long ago I came across the amplified Hebrew-to-English translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers and I felt like jumping for joy!

The reason being, it reinforced my study in John 17,  that Jesus is the fulfillment of the blessing of God (the God of Israel, the one true God)!

Jeff A. Benner of the Ancient Research Center site says many people don’t understand the word “bless”. These people will say, “the heavenly Father will never bow before a man, literally or figuratively.”

Benner goes onto say, “if we think of (the God of Israel, the one true God) as a Supreme Ruler sitting high upon a throne, then I would agree, your heavenly Father could never kneel before another. However, this is not the heavenly Father I read about in the Bible.

The one true God, your heavenly Father that I read about walks among his people like a father does with his children, and when a child looks up at his father with a question or comment, wouldn’t father kneel down before his child and get eye to eye with him and talk with him?

This is a father that shows respect to his children. Kneeling before another is not a sign of submission, but instead, a sign of respect, which we could say is a blessing to his children.”

Don’t you love the picture Benner just painted of your heavenly Father and how He loves to “bless” His children? When I read that quote by Benner not only did I remember the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6 but also Jesus prayer and blessing in John 17.

Below is the Amplified Hebrew-To-English Translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing. As you pray through John 17 you will see how John 17 is connected to Numbers 6:24-26.

Numbers 6:24-26 – The Amplified Hebrew-To-English Translation

 

by Warren M. Marcus

THE LORD BLESS YOU. . .

May YHWH kneel before you (making Himself available to you as your heavenly Father) so He can grant or bestow upon you His promises and gifts.

THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU. . .

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) guard you with a hedge of thorny protection that will prevent Satan and all your enemies from harming your body, soul, mind, and spirit, your loved ones, and all your possessions.

THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU. . .

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) illuminate the wholeness of His being toward you, continually bringing to you order, so that you will fulfill your G-D given destiny and purpose.

AND BE GRACIOUS UNTO YOU. . .

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) provide you with perfect love and fellowship, never leaving you, and give you sustenance, provision, and friendship.

THE LORD LIFT HIS COUNTENANCE UPON YOU…

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) lift up and carry His fullness of being toward you (bringing everything that He has to your aid), supporting you with His divine embrace and His entire being.

AND GIVE YOU PEACE…

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) set in place all you need to be whole and complete so you can walk in victory, moment by moment, by the power of the Holy Spirit. May He give you supernatural health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfection, fullness, rest, and harmony, as well as the absence of agitation and discard.

This translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers is taken from “The PRIESTLY PRAYER of the BLESSING – The Ancient Secret of the Only Prayer in the Bible written by GOD HIMSELF” – by Warren M. Marcus.

Finally, the most important thing to see is how this word “bless” is used in John 17. We can’t make “bless” mean what we want it to mean but what the Father says it means is the all-important thing.

If you miss His meaning of the word “bless” the rest of John 17 will not have much meaning for you personally. As you Pray John 17 you can expect your heavenly Father to meet you in a supernatural, intimate, and experiential relationship you’ve always desired.

A TRANSFORMATION WILL COME  CHRIST JESUS PROMISED IT!

Ready? Let’s begin to know what’s in a NAME!

Prayer

My Father, enlarge my capacity to spiritually understand Your name.

Be Encouraged Today!

May you hear His voice for yourself more clearly than ever before.

Be Encouraged

Image may contain: text that says 'Heavenly Father, Please speak to me in a way that understand. Teach me to recognize Your voice and when You are speaking. Teach me to hear Your Holy Spirit myself and protect me from deception. Please guide me into all that You have in store. In Jesus' name I pray, rejoice and say, Amen.'
Be Encouraged

Conversational Prayer (because Faith Comes by Hearing and Hearing by the Word of God.

Find out why believing in the Biblical sense always means obeying (acting) upon the revealed will and plan of God.

What’s faith got to do with it?

Conversational Prayer that is.

First, I want to give you an example showing what biblical faith means. Then I will unpack these verses.

Noah received some information (details) from God concerning the flood. He received this information well before God’s judgment of this world with water. This information also contained Noah’s part in God’s future plan for the flood.

By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”, Hebrews 11:6.

Let’s ask some questions.

Did Noah know what was coming upon the earth before the flood came? Yes, he did.

Did Noah know what God wanted him to do before the flood came? Yes, he did.

Noah had advance information from God. This information, in the form of a warning, allowed Noah to know in advance exactly what God wanted him to do as God prepared to carry out His plan of world destruction by water.   

What, then, did Noah do?

He acted upon the information God gave him.  He prepared an ark and his acting or his preparing the ark makes it clear that he believed God’s word. And by his acting, he “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith”, Hebrews 11:6.

Take Abraham. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out…”, Hebrews 11:8.

Did Abraham receive advance information from God concerning a place he was to inherit before he went out? Yes, he did.

Did Abraham know beforehand what he was to do about it? Yes, he did.

This advance information became his faith. Faith is a noun. It is something you
have. Next Abraham acted upon that information. He obeyed. He went out. Going out showed he believed God word. The information God gave him to act upon.

Believing in the Biblical sense always means obeying (acting) upon the revealed will and plan of God. Faith is information that you receive from God. Believing is always acting upon that information. Abraham knew beforehand about the place of inheritance. His
going out was his believing the information.

Look Moses’ parents. “By faith Moses’, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment”, Hebrews 11:23.

Did Moses’ parents have advance information about the future of their child? Yes, they did.

What did they see? They “saw he was a proper child”.

What did they do about the details God gave them about Moses? They acted upon it in two ways. They hid him for the space of three months. Then, they overcame their
fear of the king’s commandment to kill the boy babies in the land.

Their hiding and overcoming their fear was their believing. Faith is a noun. It is
something you have. Moses’ parents received information from God about Moses. Believing is a verb. It is something you do with the information you receive from God.
How do you receive this information? In the three examples above, they got the advance information from God in three ways.

  • Noah was warned,
  • Abraham was called
  • and Moses’ parents saw something.

But, in our age, advance information from God comes to us in two ways. First, we get
information from God in scripture.

Second, we get information from God directly into our spirit.  This information which comes directly into our spirit may take the form of a warning, calling and seeing like the above. It may come as a knowing or an awareness. 

This information can come in dreams, or pictures in your mind or by an inner impression. For instance, suppose you own your own business and you sense a calling of God on your life.

But are more concerned about being in the will of God than owning your own business? In other words, you would like to have your own business but only if you could know that it is the will of God for your life.

Since there is no verse anywhere in the Bible which states that “thou shall quit your business and go to Bible school.” How do you know for sure which one to go with?

Here’s where Conversational Prayer shines. You simply lay the matter out before the Lord and then get quiet and listen. The Lord then speaks to your spirit what His will is concerning your job situation. The answer may not come all at once. As you talk this over with God it will become clearer which road to take.

And, when he is done speaking, there will be a perfect peace in your spirit about the course of action on your part that is His will for your life. But there will be a feeling of anxiety and unrest concerning the course of action that is not his will for your life.

This is exactly what happened to my husband Dick in 1976. He had his own sign painting business and it was doing very well financially. God began speaking to him about going into full-time ministry. Was he to close down his business? Was this really God speaking to him? There was no Scripture saying, “Dick close down your business and go to Bible School.”

He began talking to God about what he sensed. His sign painting business was his baby, something he dreamed about having someday. Now here he was with a dilemma on his hands. Painting signs brought him joy. But something began to change. Where he had peace and joy in a job he loved he now experienced frustration.

He goes back to the Father and says, “I don’t understand what’s going on in my life. Why this frustration? Why this uneasiness?” To make a long story short as he entered into Conversational Prayer God gave him advance information about how to close down his business and where he was to go to Bible school. 

When he began to take steps to close his business down peace flooded his soul. Where there was frustration before now peace was reigning.  Dick demonstrated his believing by acting on what God spoke to him. 

A Strong Word of Warning

The Holy Spirit never contradicts the written word of God. The Spirit of God will never give you information for you to act upon that contradicts the scriptures.  

When you are seeking direction from God and the information you receive contradicts the plain sense of scripture, the source of that information is demonic, not holy.  

Keep in mind that faith is information that we receive from God, (and doesn’t in any way deny the plain sense of the scriptures), that we are to act upon.  

Explanation of Hebrews 11:1

When I began to see what biblical faith was Hebrews 11:1 made sense. 

Hebrews 11:1,  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

We can’t make faith mean what we want it to mean. We want the Holy Spirit’s meaning, don’t we?  

The word “substance” is the Greek word HUPOSTASIS,  and is a combination of two Greek words. The first word in this combination is the Greek preposition “under”. The second word in this combination is the Greek word meaning “to stand”.

The combined word means “to stand under”. Putting it all together the expanded verse reads like this:

“Now the information that we receive from God that we are to act upon stands under, as a foundation, the things we hope for and this foundation becomes our evidence for things we cannot see with our physical eyes yet.”

I leaped for joy. Now biblical faith made sense to me.

The information we receive from God becomes the foundation and this foundation becomes our evidence for things we cannot see with our physical eyes yet. 

When I’m sensitive to hear His voice, without fail I’m able to stand, because I have His sure word, even when I don’t see it yet.

In 1997 I became ill and lying flat on my back and not moving was the only thing that brought relief. I saw different doctors and they couldn’t come up with a proper diagnosis. I was getting worse by the day and desperate to find out what was wrong with me.

As time went on, I cried out to the Lord for help. I’m a simple person so God doesn’t talk to me like He would a person who has a Ph.D. The only the phrase that kept coming to me was, “They don’t have a clue.” That wasn’t very encouraging. But it was advance information.

The last doctor I saw did a procedure that was to make me all better but in the end, only made things worse. The problem was I had a cyst in my liver, with five different chambers and was as big as a basketball that kept filling up with fluid.

The last time I saw that doctor was for him to say, “Cindy, you’re beyond our ability to help. Here’s a card with the number of the University of Pittsburgh Hospital. Call and make an appointment with the head liver surgeon.”

And so I did. 

“When he said you’re beyond our ability to help.” God’s advance information to me was, “They’re clueless.” Even though I was standing under God’s advance information by that time, I still didn’t have all the information of where to go for help, until the Doctor handed me the card with the number of the University of Pittsburgh Hospital.

I didn’t find out until later, the University of Pittsburgh Hospital is the best hospital in the world for liver surgery. I always say, “Father knows best listen to Him.”

Finally, I use Isaiah 55:1-3 often when explaining conversational Prayer. Most commentaries you read say these verses deal with salvation, (becoming a Christian). They do include that but there’s much more revealed in those three verses than just salvation.

I took the writers of those commentaries at their word until the Holy Spirit began opening my understanding to what Biblical faith means.

The basic definition of faith is the information that you receive from God for you to act upon.

This information allows you to know in advance what God is going to do in the
future concerning a given issue or course of action. In Conversational Prayer, this is exactly what happens.

As you interact with God through conversation He may give information that allows you to know what you are to do in a particular issue.

Faith is a noun. It’s information – details He shares with you. It is something you have. Believe is a verb. It is something you do. You get a set of instructions or information
from God which becomes your faith and then you act upon that information.

That way it says in the bible, “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God.”

Your acting is your believing. You do not believe in the Biblical sense without acting on your faith. That’s why James says, “Without works faith is dead.”

I’m sure you can give examples of when God spoke to you and you acted on that information.

Conversational Prayer is about hearing His voice and acting on the information He gives you. It’s a feast for your Soul.

 

 

BIG PICTURE – Everything’s Gonna Be Okay

I hope this reminder blesses you as much as it blessed me.

Last week I spent the weekend in the hospital with side effects from medication for diverticulitis back in December.

But just now (Friday) I flipped open a little booklet I have and the note is timely for me and I thought someone out there could use this little bit of wisdom too! I needed this reminder today how about you?

Big Picture: Everything’s gonna be okay.

Little Picture: Potential speed bumps ahead.

My Prayer: That you’ll focus on the BIG Picture.

Let us hold onto the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Corrie Ten Boom said God’s all-sufficiency is a major. Your inability is a minor. Major in majors, not in minors. Wise woman. Be blessed.

Find Out How You Can Hear The Voice Of God Through Journaling

Find out how you can begin to hear the voice of God through journaling.

Did your parents teach you how to have a conversation when you were young? Me too.

Good parents teach their children at a young age how to have a conversation with someone else. From ordering food when the waitress comes to the table to take the order to talking to Grandma and talking to friends.

Teaching children taught me that children are not born knowing how to have a good conversation with somebody. Most of the time kids are very one-sided in their conversation. Most of the time it’s more like, “Look at me” and they talk about everything they did.

Many times when we think of journaling we imagine doing all the talking like a child. But hearing God’s voice through journaling is more a two-way conversation that can be learned.

1 Chronicles 28:19  David said, “This is in writing because His hand was upon me. He helped me to know all the plan.”

I believe David learned the Art of Journaling. What do you think?

David wrote a lot. We have the Psalms to prove it.  Journaling is a skill. It’s not a skill you are born with. You learn how to develop conversation as a kid and you learn to develop a conversation with God very much the same.

A good definition of spiritual journaling is  – a written conversation with the Lord.

“It is a written dialog between you and the Lord where you approach Him with your thoughts and ideas and write back what He tells you.”

What Hearing the Voice of God Through Journaling Looks Like

Journaling looks like this,

“Father, I am having a bad day. I didn’t get any sleep last night. I don’t feel like getting out of bed today, Lord.”

The Secret to Hearing God Through Journaling is Being Honest

Now it’s the Lord’s chance to talk. That is one of the secrets to hearing His voice. Be real don’t fake it. Say it like it is and come to Him as you are. As you come and journal (by writing down) how sad you are and whatever else, then you quiet your spirit.

Next, a picture might come to you, a memory may come to you or a scripture will come to mind, and all you need to do is start writing it down.

Don’t worry about grammar because it’s your journal and for your eyes only. You’re not writing an essay. The key in writing it down is to not write in the third person but to write it as if it is coming directly from the Lord to your heart.

So, after I’ve  written my part, I close my eyes and say, “Okay Father, what do you have to say me?”  

It would look a little like this,

“I am with you, my child.  It’s time to put your problems aside and to just sit in my  presence, I’ll stay with you and never leave you. We’ll walk through this problem together.”

You are journaling!

It takes a little bit of practice not to do all the talking at first. Journaling takes practice because it’s a skill that you can learn. At first, it will probably be straight from your mind.

Relax.

It is okay.

I’ve gone back to some of my old journals years ago. I did all talking but wasn’t listening for the Father’s voice. But over time I heard His voice more clearly. It’ was life-giving – like a feast for my soul.

Start slowly.  Remember no child learns to speak overnight? Just like a toddler needs time to learn to speak, we need time to learn to hear His voice. Yes, some of what you write down will be your thoughts and ideas.

The more you journal the better you will get. Just like me, you will look over older journals and see which parts were God and which parts came from you.  That’s okay. The more you get used to hearing His voice, the more you will discern where you are getting off track.

It’s a relationship. From God’s heart to your heart. In every healthy relationship, it takes a while to understand what the other person is “really” saying. Sometimes you need to ask clarifying questions, don’t you? It takes time to get to know one another. It is the same with the Lord.

Simply put, spiritual journaling is a method of conversation by writing, where you state your thoughts to the Lord and then you write down His answer.

People make it hard but learning how to journal is quite simple and takes time.

 

Part One – Find Out Why Conversational Prayer is a Feast for Your Soul

Find out for yourself how conversational prayer will enrich your life.

Ever eat bland tasteless food? Me too.

Ever feel like your praying is stale, boring and lifeless? Me too.

Now,

Imagine the best mouth-watering meal you ever ate. Your taste buds come alive. You savor every bite. You feel full and satisfied, don’t you? Yum.

It was lip-smacking good, wasn’t it?

I bet you ate what was good and enjoyed the best foods. 

woman food
Yum!

Conversational Prayer is a feast for your soul.

Like eating a delicious meal, communing with God is a feast for your soul.

Very tasty!

God even says so.

Is. 55:2 “I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish or work so hard for what leaves you empty. Attend to Me and eat what is good; enjoy the richest, most delectable of things.

Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life,”

This invitation is to you. God longs for you to come closer to listen because His words will give you life and feed your soul.

God’s intention is to speak rich and delectable things to you.

Some people have trouble believing God speaks today, let alone He speaks in ways we can hear. But God is relational.

I struggled for many years, not knowing how to hear his voice. I didn’t know where to start or how to start the conversational prayer lifestyle.

I needed to change my diet of bland tasteless praying to eating the words God gave me. To my surprise, when I attended to Him and ate what was good; I enjoyed the richest, most tasty of things.

Do you find it hard to get started with conversational prayer? Ever wished you could see life from God’s perspective? Do you desire for your life of prayer to be more life-giving?

Here’s how you can start today with a two-way conversation that you only dreamed about. As you experience communion with your heavenly Father it’s like a feast for your soul.

 A mouth-watering meal enriches your body, but connecting with God enriches your soul. Conversational prayer improves the time you spend with the Father. 

 4 Aspects or ways that help your conversational prayer be more life-giving:

  • Focus
  • Listen
  • Discern and
  • Respond

1.  Focusing – the first aspect of conversational prayer

I get scattered brained sometimes so the focus aspect helps me stay more focused.

It’s important because we live in an age of distraction, don’t we?  Here’s an activity I still use today to help me focus. You don’t want your thoughts running away like a runaway train.

Believe me, this exercise seems simple but is a great solution to runaway thoughts.

A FOCUS PRACTICE to help you perk up your spiritual taste buds.

Use Psalm 27:4-8 to start with. It’s David’s poetic praise to God before he was anointed king.  It’s loaded with images that come from David’s passion to be with God and to experience His presence on a daily basis.

Picture him in the desert somewhere with his sheep. Imagine what it would be like to live in the Temple 24/7.

Sit or pace

Eating a tasty dinner is done best by relaxing and enjoying every bite, isn’t it?  God isn’t a crock pot God He’s more like a slow cooker. Smell the aroma when you lift the lid from your slow cooker. Yum.

But whether sitting or pacing find a quiet relaxing place. Next, bring back to mind an appreciation moment. (A memory that brings you joy, peace, or encouragement. It could be something spiritual but it doesn’t have to be).

A memory that has meaning for me is when I experienced the Nigra Falls for the first time. I was speechless and overwhelmed seeing the Falls, the scene is still vivid in my mind today.

Invite God to reveal Himself to you. Open your heart to His presence like a flower opens up to the bright rays of the sun.

Read the two verses from Psalm 27 below. Try to connect with the Psalmist as he longs to stay in the presence of God.

Note and write about any pictures, emotions or words that come to mind.

“Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.

…’my inner being responded,’ “I’m seeking your face with all my heart.” (Psalm 27:4-8).

Like craving your favorite food David longed for God presence. Conversational prayer is desiring God’s presence like when you hunger after your best-loved food. May you live your life so close to Him that He takes pleasure in your every prayer too.

As you continue to cultivate your relationship skills with your heavenly Father:

  • Scripture comes alive.
  • You get to know God in relationship.
  • You see life more from God’s perspective.

D. Takle shares a testimony about his experience with conversational prayer.

“His love for me has become more real, more tangible than I ever thought possible. As time goes on I find I am becoming more and more dependent on what He feeds me with, so when I miss a day or two I often feel as if I’m lanqishing, starving for what He alone gives.

Now I do not mean to imply that every day brings about wholesale transformation. While there truly are moments when His insights are so beautiful that it is as if someone turned on a light in the room.

Most of the time is more like a cool drink of water, a life-giving hug from God, or a breath of fresh air.

Sometimes we sit quietly together, so I can simply enjoy His presence around me, enfolding me in His love.

And yes, I do have seasons from time to time where seeing Him is difficult and hearing Him is hard. I feel homesick and separated from my life. As in any other relationship, my heart has its own reasons for holding back or running away. 

But when I stop running and seek Him out, He is always closer than I imagined.”

Conversational prayer may feel overwhelming at first but it’s not as hard as it seems. Breaking it down into these four aspects helps you see the big picture. But starting with focusing is one small way you can start today.

Get started. Get focusing. It’ll make you feel like you’re coming even closer to your heavenly Father. 

2. Listening – the Second aspect of conversational prayer.

When I started out with conversational prayer I didn’t know what people meant by listening to God’s voice. What did they mean? Did they mean listen for an audible voice? What kind of voice did they mean?

Frustration crept in and I almost gave up on this thing called conversational prayer. I saw it everywhere in Scripture where people heard God’s voice but I was taught God doesn’t speak to people anymore today because the Scripture is complete.

So I went directly to the Holy Spirit my personal teacher and mentor. Now I was getting somewhere.

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God”  (Rom. 8:16).

If I’m His child, wouldn’t He want to speak to me?

Yes.

What kind of Father would it be to have children but never speak to them?

I Cor. 2:13-14 reached out and captured my attention.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Sprit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishess to him, and he cannot undersatnd them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Spirit to spirit is the way God speaks to us

How does God speak to us? From the Scriptures above the right answer is Spirit to spirit. But what does that mean? 

When I started asking the Holy Spirit questions about what He meant by Spirit to spirit, here is where it began to get interesting.

First, we looked at focusing now the Holy Spirit was teaching me what kind of listening He was talking about.

My next question to the Holy Spirit was, “How do I experience Spirit-to-spirit communication?

I’m dyslexic and a visual learner so I realized the Holy Spirit also uses spontaneous words that come into my mind, thoughts that are smarter than I am, impressions, and images.

Now I started getting excited. It was like the Holy Spirit was speaking my language. He speaks through these different ways but what was my part?

Our part in Listening

listening

Noticing – inner reactions and responses. You begin to notice what’s in your heart and mind. Gut level honesty is critical. God’s not blown away about your inner thoughts and reactions.

Verbalizing – You begin to verbalize your thoughts and impressions.

Verbalizing begins by writing or speaking out what comes to mind. (This is conversational prayer).

Verbalizing gives substance to your impressions.

Verbalizing helps you focus and use all your mind in the process.

Searching for words to capture your impressions is part of conversational prayer. Impressions aren’t always clear at first. Just like any conversation you have, sometimes you need more clarification by asking questions. It’s a two-way process, isn’t it?

“Conversation with God can also be described as active spiritual reflection, with the expectation that God will speak to us.”

Why Listening to the Word is critical to conversational prayer

Letting the Holy Spirit teach us about life in the Kingdom is life-giving. He reveals the Word and our Heart at the same time.

Listening to the Word starts by Depending on the Holy Spirit’s meaning of the Scriptures instead of my human understanding. We can’t make the Scripture mean what we what it to mean.

Listening to the Word starts by Allowing the Spirit to reveal and apply His truth.

Listening to the Word starts by Focusing on short passages or phrases in the Bible.

Scripture approached this way lets the Spirit reveal to you what you need to see and hear.

Practical Tips on How to Listen to the Word

  • Read – the passage slowly, several times. Don’t rush it.
  • Notice  – any impressions or reactions you have to a given word or phrase.
  • Ask – God what He means by each word or phrase and ask Him to show you what you need.
  • Receive – by reflecting, questioning, pondering, responding (flowing back and forth) like you’d do in any conversation with a friend.

Connecting and engaging with God has been used this way for centuries. You find people in the Bible connecting with God this way. Letting Him minister the Word to your heart is life-giving. 

Conversational prayer is anything but passive

Psalm 139 is King David’s poetic song about how God knows him and loves him completely at the same time. No matter where he goes or how far he wanders away he can never get lost.

Example – Listening to God and the Word

  1. Take a minute or two to quiet and focus. Bring to mind an appreciation moment with God.
  2. Ask God to show you His heart about the Scripture below, and listen as you read.
  3. Allow a phrase or word to capture your attention. Let it fill your mind and imagination. Ask God to reveal what He wants you to see in the word or phrase.
  4. Write down feelings and impressions that come to mind.

It’s not how fast you can go, but knowing that God is with you and will join you in this process. It’s not a sprint but a leisurely walk with God like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

Psalm 139 (excerpts)

“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.

This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength

It’s impossible to disappear from you or to ask the darkness to hide me, for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord!

God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through;

find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—the path that brings me back to you.” The Passion Translation

Listening to the word is reading for transformation, not for information. Simply be with God, rest in the one of a kind, affectionate love that God has for you.

David’s testimony about conversational prayer.

David says, “I’m remembering today how I used to have a kind of love-hate experience in reading the Bible. I know it was supposed to be important – I even taught a class once on how much we needed to read the Bible.

But the truth was I would often go weeks at a time without picking one up. Sometimes I would have to dust it off before I opened it. Of course, I would feel ashamed of myself for having neglected the whole project and tell myself over and over I needed to read it more.

And for a time I would keep at it, only to drift away after a while, and then the whole cycle would repeat itself.

I never did understand why something so inherently valuable could be so dry and tasteless so much of the time. Honestly, reading the Bible usually felt more like doing homework than feeding my soul.

Then I heard about how to listen to the Word and how to be taught by the Spirit of God instead of trying to analyze the text on my own. The difference was amazing.

What life. What food for my soul. Words came alive and jumped off the page and penetrated my heart! Passages I had read a hundred times before rang true in my soul as if I had never heard them before.”

Today you can begin a two-way conversation that you only dreamed about.

Directly connecting with God can feed your soul, renew your mind, and transform your life.

In summary:

4 Aspects or ways that help your conversational prayer be more life-giving is by:

  • Focusing
  • Listening
  • Discerning and
  • Responding

I’ve covered the focusing and listening aspects of conversational prayer here. Go to part two for Discerning and Responding.

 

 

4 Tips on How You Can Develop a Conversational Prayer Life

How you can begin your Conversational Prayer Life today.

What if…

God could mentor you about the concerns of your life?

The Holy Spirit could teach you the Scriptures and make them come alive?

What if you could have a strong conversational prayer life with God as you read in the Bible?

You can.

Because God still speaks!

Once I developed a conversational prayer life, I found there’re four parts.  The four different aspects are:

  1. Focusing
  2. Listening
  3. Discerning and
  4. Responding

I still remember the day I said, people in the Bible heard God speak. I read story after story about Jesus speaking to people, the Holy Spirit leading people. But God, I want to hear you speak to me not read about how you spoke to people years ago.

Conversational prayer includes four parts and the first aspect is what I call focus. Praying this way is a lot like any conversation. You’ve got to quiet your thoughts and focus on what the other person is saying, don’t you?

“Conversational prayer is an excellent approach to Christian transformation.  Engaging with God as the process for lasting change–not just performing Christian disciplines,” says Jeff.

Focusing and quieting was new for me. Once I got the hang of it I wouldn’t go back to my old way (rushing through my prayer time).”

Quieting and focusing is critical to conversational prayer

Come to God. Trust Him and expect to hear Him speak. Focus on Him and cut down the inner noise.

  • Quiet your mind and let go of stress. 
  • Open up to Him like a flower opens up to the sun. 
  • Ask God to unveil Himself to you. (Not a dramatic event but increasing awareness of His presence. 
  • Look for Him with your heart (inquiring, seeking, longing.) 
  • Don’t be passive, you’re engaging the God of the universe.

What helps me quiet may help you as well. These methods include:

—-> Remove distractions (turn your cell phone off, go to a quiet room and shut the door). 

—-> Have paper for notes. 

—-> Relax (take a couple of deep breaths, or stretch to reduce stress). 

—-> Listen to music (instrumental music works best).

 —-> Pacing helps some instead of sitting.

God’s intention is to speak to His children

It all started in the Garden of Eden with Adman and Eve.

(Ps. 29:3-4) “The voice of the Lord echoes through the skies and seas …  So powerful is his voice, so brilliant and bright, how majestic as he thunders over the great waters!”

(Is. 55) “Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good … Incline your ear … listen, so that you may live … so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose …”

(Mat. 4:4) He answered, “The Scriptures say: Bread alone will not satisfy, but true life is found in every word which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.”

(John 5:25) “I speak to you eternal truth: Soon the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will arise with life!”

(6:45) Jesus continued, “It has been written by the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God himself.’  If you are really listening to the Father and learning directly from him, you will come to me.