Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hearing the Truth

I recently finished Peter Lord's book, Hearing God.  His down-to-earth, humble style assures me that I too may hear the voice of God.  His practical suggestions for learning to hear the voice of God help me develop the habits needed for real communication with God.

For many of us, prayers are those letters we put in the mail, stamped with our time invested, which we hope and assume arrive in God's mailbox.  We never expect replies.  We just hope that something happens that looks like God may have had something to do with it.  Then our prayer is answered.  Or at least we claim that it is.  We have some evidence that God actually opened our prayer-letters, and that he actually did something about it.

But prayer really can be more like a conversation.  We limit the two-way communication by the way we approach prayer.  We cover our prayer lists without taking time to listen.  We never think of listening, because we so rarely ask God to speak.  We just ask him to do.  Why should we listen?

Peter Lord teaches on prayer at Crossroads in February 2012.
Peter Lord gave me a new idea for prayer.  When I face a puzzling situation, I can ask God to show me the truth about it.  I assume that I have all the information I need.  But I don't really know what motivates others.  I don't know for certain how or why things developed.  I need the truth.  I can ask God to reveal to me the truth behind someone's frustrating behavior, behind my sinful habits, behind the roadblocks to ministry.

Then I need to listen.

It takes time, patience, quiet, peace--all things in short supply today.  We have to nurture peace in our hearts and carve out time in our schedules.

When I hear the truth from God, I will probably be surprised.  I never understood it that way.  I never realized the key to that person's heart.  I never saw how my behavior contributed to the problem.  I never knew that my attitude made such a difference.

God will reveal these things, if I will listen.  Then I can repent, respond, or wait, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus has his way.