EXPECT THE FATHER TO SPEAK

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who talked a mile a minute, never pausing to allow you to respond or even answer a question?  Even when you love that person, it takes great patience to keep listening.  It feels like a one-sided relationship, like they aren’t really interested in you.

If we don’t expect God to speak to us when we pray, we can slip into this kind of relationship with him, always talking and never listening.  I wonder how this makes him feel?  And more importantly, what are we missing out on?

Jesus told us that when we know him, we hear him speak.

“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John 10:3-5).

What Jesus said here is profound. His wording was very specific. He did not say that say that the sheep should hear His voice, nor did he say that they could hear His voice. He said that the sheep do hear His voice.  When Jesus prayed, he heard his Father speak.

And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy’” (Luke 3:22, NLT). 

What God speaks to us, we can expect it to hear words that affirm us, that cover us in love and acceptance.  We can sense his pride in us, his delight in us, healing broken places in our hearts.  The Father’s words to Jesus established their relationship as Father and Son. 

We may not hear audible words like Jesus did, but we can hear him in our heart and mind when we listen for his whispers.

QUESTIONS FOR CONTEMPLATION

For us to hear, we have to create space to listen.  How can you create that space in your prayer times?

What things distract you from quiet places where you can listen?

What do you hear God saying to you today?

PRAYER TIPS

  • Start a prayer journal where you record your prayers to God and write what you hear him saying
  • Study Lectio Divina, an ancient devotional practice of contemplating individual Scriptures and discerning what God is speaking to us through that verse.
  • Don’t be so quick to pick up your phone after “Amen.” Pause in the silence and wait for the inner nudging of the Spirit.
  • If you aren’t sure if you are hearing right or you are a new Christian, check with your pastor or Life Group leader about what you are feeling and sensing.
  • Make room for uncertainty.  Learning God’s voice is the journey of a lifetime—it’s okay to be unsure.

RESOURCES:

Right Now Media

Hearing God by Dallas Willard

 https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/1175