Yesterday we learned the One and Only Rule of Prayer:
Prayer is being completely honest with God about everything going on around us and inside of us.
Anything goes. Talk it out. Have a ball. But once we are done talking, we aren't finished praying. It's God's turn to talk, but very few of us stick around long enough to hear what God has to say. Maybe you are one of those people who are skeptical when someone claims to have "heard from God." Maybe you've just accepted that prayer is a one way channel. We talk until blue in the face and only hear silence in reply. Sure we feel better getting things off our chest, but be honest: what we really want is some answers. Friends, God speaks. Prayer is a conversation. So how do we hear the Voice of an invisible God communicating to us from another dimension? There are ways.
Some people hear God speak out loud with an audible voice. Abraham heard God that way. So did Moses and prophets like Jeremiah. I never have. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I just can't figure out why God only seems to speak out loud to the preachers on television who are asking for more money to buy another private jet. (Sarcasm. Sorry!) See, we tend to be cynical about people who claim to hear from God. We desperately want to hear it but at the same time don't believe it happens. In Acts chapter 12, the believers are hiding behind locked doors praying for Peter to be released from prison. While they prayed, a knock came at the door. A young girl named Rhoda heard Peter through the door and ran to tell the others that Peter had come! The people told her she was out of her mind. They were praying for Peter to be released and then refused to believe it was possible when it happened. Maybe that's why many of us stop praying when we are done speaking. We just don't expect God to answer. The first step to hearing God speak is believing that it is possible. Expect it. Don't rule it out. Have faith. You remember faith. It is a trust in things unseen. Our faith is a signal to God that we are ready to hear. Faith allows God to accomplish all kinds of things in our world, including speaking to us in ways we can understand. Believe that it is possible.
Now that we are paying attention, we need to know how to tune God in. More on that tomorrow.