Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Art of Listening Prayer - Part One

I have started the other book that was sent to me free with Red Letters (my review is below in 3 different posts). I received both of these books for free on the condition that I would blog about them and link the blogs of the authors!
I picked up "The Art of Listening Prayer by Seth Barnes thinking it would be a book to read. It turns out it is much more than that. It is actually a 30-day workbook. At first I thought - I don't know if I can really do this - I am already keeping up with Beth Moore's Believing God and BSF. But as I started to read the introduction I was drawn in. I am AMAZED at how God is so involved in ALL the details. As I have gone through the first 7 days of this workbook, the things that God is teaching me in all 3 of these studies are all intersecting, supporting each other and are a combination of exactly what God needs to do in me right now to prepare me for the journey He has before me!

The subtitle to the book is "Finding God's voice amidst life's noise". I am almost embarrassed to admit that I find the premise of this book so revoluntionary. The main idea is that when we pray and talk to God, we should then be quiet and wait for his response. Now, that part isn't what struck me as so new - I think at times I have prayed and then waited to hear God - and I do believe that God does speak.
The book has a few pages to read for each day with a concept to learn about communicating with God. Then there is a series of questions to ask God - not to answer them with my thoughts and wisdom, but I am to pose each of these questions to God and then wait for his response. By suggestion from the author I am using a journal to write out the questions - I am using one color for my questions and prayers to God. I am using another color for Scripture and anything I sense God is saying to me.

The principles in today's lesson - kind of sum up what I have learned - or been reminded of lately.

1. In normal personal relationships, dialogue is initiated by asking questions.

2. In normal personal relationships, after posing a question it is customary to expect a response and wait for it.

3. In normal personal relationships, the listener does not interrupt or allow distrations, but focuses his attention on the speaker.

4. In normal personal relationships we recognize the voice of the other party.

5. In normal personal relationships, people use a variety of means to communicate.

6. In an intimate friendship, there are expressions of affection and extended periodic conversation.

7. Honesty is important.

I feel like I have just begun to truly communicate with God. Today I had to confess to Him that I often think of prayer as similar to a lucky charm, like I mouth my prayers so that I am covered on everything and it is rare that I truly abide with, praise, connect, engage with or worship God in prayer.
It's exciting to realize again that God desires RELATIONSHIP with me a deep level.

I know that God is stirring my heart to a ministry of helping the oppressed and the "least of these". As I am waiting to see where He wants me to serve, He is drawing me into greater BELIEF, He is grounding me in His word, and now is drawing me into deeper intimacy with Him. Thank you Jesus!

1 comment:

David and Marianne said...

great post laura! good reminder of the deep relationship God wants from us!