True prayer is a love relationship with God—it is enjoying a relationship, not enduring a religious activity. Prayer is the privilege of soaring to the very throne of God to touch His face. It is meeting with God Himself. Our souls are starved for this sense of awe . . . to speak and to hear from God. We must never forget that Father God loves to share His heart with His children.
Fellowship with God in prayer is meant to adjust us, not to adjust God to what we want. We must have frequent, intimate contact with our Father—the Daddy Abba Father of Galatians 4:6. Prayer is more than speaking to God; it is speaking with Him. We cannot build an intimate relationship on one-way speeches.
As I pray to God, I am aware of this: both of us will speak, and both of us will listen. When we practice two-way prayer, listening carefully and humbly, God will often speak. This prophetic interchange is not limited to verbal communication. We can expect to encounter God in various ways. However we hear Him, this divine encounter will always do two things: it will change us, and we will be given ammunition for spiritual warfare.
As we hear accurately from God, the church will begin to enter into prophetic praying. Prophetic prayer is praying with revelation and receiving God’s response. It is becoming a prayer partner with Jesus. God will not only speak to us, but He will also pray through us.
I encourage you to become one who hears from God in the secret closet where you are trusted with strategic prayer assignments. Instead of praying, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening,” it’s easy to fall into “Listen Lord, your servant is speaking!” Decide today that you will have a heart that will wait on the Lord and listen for His voice.
Your tools for ministry must include a consistent life of hearing from God. I love the words of Isaiah 50:4–5 (NKJV):
“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.”
Ask Him for a listening ear! Marvelous revelations and a deeper understanding of Scripture await those who will ask for it . . . and linger in His presence to hear His voice. Our Lord is known as the great “Revealer of mysteries” (see Daniel 2:29, 47). There is much He has to say to the seeking heart.
Sometimes people ask me, “How do I know when it is God speaking? I don’t want to be misled. I only want to listen to the Holy Spirit.” Here are some simple guidelines for knowing God’s voice and discerning when it is the voice of the enemy:
- Jesus is a gentle Shepherd; Satan is a condemning and accusing intimidator.
- The Lord’s voice is often quiet and deeply internal; Satan’s is intrusive and vulgar.
- The Holy Spirit calls and draws us; Satan threatens, demands, and drives.
- Check the content—does it agree with the Scriptures?
- God’s voice drips with mercy; He does not condemn our personal worth before Him.
- The Lord’s voice will change you and touch you.
- His voice is rooted in hope, not negativity or despair.
- God’s Word is for now; Satan locks us into our past.
- God uses the ordinary, not merely the spectacular.
- His Word gives more hope, not more condemnation.
- God’s voice inspires us to love, not to criticize others.
- Peace comes from God; anxiety comes from Satan.
- The voice of the Spirit will always glorify Jesus as Lord and point us to Him.
John 10:2–4 (TPT) gives us reassurance that we can hear God’s voice. Are you listening today?
“And the sheep recognize the voice of the True Shepherd, for he calls his own by name and leads them out, for they belong to him. And when he has brought out all his sheep, he walks ahead of them and they will follow him, for they are familiar with his voice.”
Today’s guest post is by Dr. Brian Simmons, the lead translator for The Passion Translation. He is also the author of I Hear His Whisper, 52 devotions to encounter God’s heart for you. True prayer is a love relationship with God—it is enjoying a relationship, not enduring a religious activity. Prayer is the privilege of soaring […]