Advent Bible Study

A Guide to Bible Study Methods Found in Scripture

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How to Listen to God’s Voice in Prayer

Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 15, 2015

Direct or Listen to Directions

When you finish praying, ask this simple question. Did I just direct God, or did I receive direction from God?

In your mind, you just communicated with the Creator of the entire universe. No one else created the sun, moon, stars, this galaxy and planet. Only He created the perfect balance and position between the plants so the world remains at a relatively constant temperature. God created all the elements and minerals that went into the computer and screen your looking at. God didn’t forget a thing. Everything He did was and is in perfect harmony to provide everything man needed when He created Adam, and the entire future of this world. Of course God got it right. He created millions of other planets. And they are still perfect. We’re the only ones who wake up every morning and go about our days making mistake after mistake while we break law after law. So let me ask you, do you direct God or did He direct you?

It’s gotten to the point, I can tell how someone pray by the conversations we have about God’s Word. People who always have something new to share from God’s Word have mastered the lost art of listening. Prayer is like sin. Either you sin, or you don’t. There is a right choice and a wrong choice. There is no preapproved ground in between. Either your listening to God or your not.

I can tell if a preacher prayed about his sermon by the way he presents it. Even before the sermon begins, I can tell if he prayed or not while writing up his sermon. For one thing, a preacher who mastered the art of listening does not need notes. He listened to God’s message so many times, it is burned in his brain and on the forefront of his mind. On the other hand, a preacher who gets an idea to preach on, or worse yet, is told by his bosses what to preach, searches for bits and pieces to support what he has to do. He lacks proper direction from God because he lacks listening skills.

If you want to learn how to pray, get back to scripture and read. Begin at Genesis. That’s right, open up to page 1 and start at the beginning. That way you can understand how God made everything just right before Adam was on the scene. Imagine if you would, what would have happened if Adam opened his eyes and began directing God? How would that have worked? But God left out one detail, a wife, or mate for Adam. Did Adam have to ask? No! God knew what Adam needed and God provided Eve in His own way in His own time. God not only provided Adam the perfect mate, He taught a long list of lessons we’re still trying to figure out today. The only way to learn those lessons is to ask God then listen to His answer.

As you progress through the Bible, pay attention to details. Look at when God talked to people, and how He talked to them. Look at the progression. God formed Adam with His hands. Then God took Adam to a special spot He picked out and planted a garden with His own hands for Adam. God is a very hands on Creator. Remember, people say God never changes. Then who changed, God or us?

God spoke directly to Adam and Eve. God also spoke directly to the serpent. God spoke with Cain. But Cain didn’t want to listen. We see a change. The beginning of an entire race of people who think they can direct God. They don’t want to listen to Him.

God got the hint. God took direction from the people He created. Look at the moment of silence in earth’s history and what happened. Then God had a talk with Noah. He listened for a while. Then it happened again. Another moment of directing God instead of listening to Him.

Look at all those stories. Abraham showed a progression. That story showed there is hope. Abraham took direction from God, and slowly learned to listen. Some times Abraham listened, and other times he made decisions on his own. I’ll let the records speak for themselves. But look at the progressions. Then look at the changes. There’s no doubt God spoke directly to people in the beginning. Then something changed. Suddenly we see prophets. Why? Read and find out why. Look at the words. They show prophets received messages directly from God. A small group of prophets still heard His voice loud and clear. Look how words like listen, say, said, and other related words are repeated. I’m sure if you listen you can read why the basic from of communication between God and this world changed. Look back at the progression, or in this case the recession. Who’s fault was it? Are you going to keep blaming God because it seems like He isn’t answering you?

When you get to the New Testament, you’ll notice another progression or change. Or maybe you won’t see it. If you get through the Old Testament and haven’t learned how to listen, you’ll miss the change. If you are listening, you’ll ask yourself the same question I did. How could people miss this? I’m not giving you the answers, that would rob you of time with God and the ability to listen to His voice.

The fact of the matter is, communication got so bad, Jesus had to leave His throne in Heaven to come here and explain how to listen to God. It had been so long since people listened, they plum forgot. Jesus came to reestablish that open line of communication. Then the disciples went around teaching how to listen to God. Look at their progression because they didn’t master the art of prayer and listening. Some times they prayed and some times they forgot.

The disciples didn’t waste a lot of time teaching people doctrines and all the kind of stuff we hear today. Their ministries were simple. They introduced people to Jesus, prayed with those people, and when they saw those people listening to God’s voice, they moved on. The disciples didn’t have to tell people how to act, what to wear, how to worship, or what to eat. Oh ya, I guess they did tell them what not to eat. But before they told people what not to do, well look at that story yourself and maybe you’ll learn what they did and how God communicated with them.

I can tell if someone knows how to listen to God by answers they provide. Any man of God, that includes those wolves in sheep’s clothing, meet people asking for prayer. It’s amazing. Most of the people asking for prayer have no idea they can go directly to God for answers. Some how they’ve been misled into thinking we’re still living in Old Testament times. So people go out looking for a prophet of sorts. Not really a prophet, more like a seer. Someone to talk to God for them and afterwards give them the answer they are looking for. The general rule of thumb is to keep asking people to pray for them until they get the answer they’re looking for.

A person who doesn’t know how to listen to God will try, notice I said try, to answer their question. Those type of people have no intentions of listening to God. Most of them have no idea how to listen to God. But that doesn’t stop them from giving the appearance they have a relationship with God. Someone who listens to God on a regular basis will give the same general answer. Most of the time in the form of a question, or series of questions. Many times the person who listened to God that day will know God sent the person with the prayer request to them. They may have the answer and will share it if they do. Their answers are a mixture of scripture and personal experiences. If they don’t have the answer, and even if they do, they will share a few simple ways to approach God and listen to Him.

I just heard a comment this week and I had to ask God about it. I was telling how the evening was the best time for me to listen to God’s voice. At the end of the day, I had enough of the world and can’t wait to get away. It is one on one time with God I look forward to. I am exhausted physically and spiritually. All I want to do is sit still and listen. And when I listen, God goes into details I never imagined.

The other person insisted I was wrong and the morning is the only time quiet enough to pray. She did insist on prayer, not listening. When I asked God about that, the answer was obvious. Her intent was to prepare for the day. So she gave God a long list of things to accomplish during the day so life would be easier for herself. Then she got up to start her day without waiting for an answer.

I’m not saying one time is better to pray than another. The fact of the matter was, she didn’t listen to me, how is she going to listen to God? Listening is an all day experience. Some moments are better than others, but here are a few details about listening to God’s voice.

He will repeat messages, especially important ones.

He will confirm messages, especially important messages.

He speaks though your thoughts, His Word, and people who know how to listen to Him.


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