Prayer isn’t just about you talking to God – it’s about God talking to you!
“To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3–5, ESV)
In our current radio broadcasts and daily devotionals, we are exploring the meaning of “praying in the Spirit.” Today, we consider what some have called listening prayer. The meditation of the heart, the communion of the human spirit with God’s spirit, is a form of spiritual prayer.
Recognizing God’s voice isn’t the privilege of “super Christians.” It is the inheritance of every believer. Jesus said we are like sheep who recognize the shepherd’s voice. “… he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3–5, ESV)
George Mueller, the 19th century, German-born evangelist who cared for more than 10,000 British orphans during his life, was a man of deep prayer. Learn from his practice of listening before praying:
“The first thing I do, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, is to begin to meditate on the Word of God, searching as it were into every verse to get blessing out of it… for the sake of obtaining food for my soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession or to supplication; so that, though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer but to meditation, it had turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.”
People who pray powerfully listen deeply. Prayer is a dialogue. Prayer is not a manipulation of God; it is an agreement with God. When you wait upon the Lord, listening to His promptings, your prayer life becomes Spirit-infused.
And that’s the Gospel!