Monday, November 28, 2016

Standing in the gap: prayer is listening to instruction...

I dragged myself to church on Sunday [...tired of the status quo] and one of the key things that I took away is that prayer is also listening to instructions. Sometimes when I go before God, I go with a long shopping list of the things I want Him to do for me. I run through the list, say or whisper a big amen and hurry off to the next activity. But when two Pastors on Sunday [on two different occasions for that matter] kept repeating that we should learn to go before God with the intention of "praying by listening," I felt that they were both talking to me. 

Example - Luke 5:1-8 - When Peter was hustling at work, and it looked like all was not working, Jesus gave him a simple instruction, but he didn't least that is what I see in the text...Jesus said: "Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." What did Simon do? First he "complained" and then said, "...nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net". Jesus instructed him to take nets, but he took a net and when his miracle came in, his net could barely hold it.... I left Church feeling somehow because like Peter, I think I've many times allowed my mind muddle with God's instructions or my feet to move faster than God's instructions.
Examples of those who listened:
Joshua, when he was instructed to gather the children of Israel and march round the wall of Jericho...and shout after a certain number...anyone would have thought that was a crazy/weird strategy for winning a battle...but it worked! [Joshua 5 & 6]
David, when he asked God whether to pursue his enemies or not. God told him no. He could have as well pursued them knowing that in the past when he pursued, God gave him victory...but pursuing his enemies was not in God's strategy this time...thank God he asked and listened to instruction! [1 Samuel 30:8, 2 Samuel 5:19, 2 Samuel 5:23]

Daniel, when he sort God's face to interpret the king's dream! If he had hurried out of God's presence, he wouldn't have heard a thing. [Daniel 2]

The apostles when they had to select a new disciple to replace Judas Iscariot! Act 1:23-25

The list goes on and on!

Anyway, I thought to share this quick we all fan our personal prayer altar this week, I hope that we'll keep in mind that prayer is listening to instruction[s]...and as we listen, may we all hear God's voice in a language that we'll each understand and obey promptly--even if the instructions don't make sense to our human understanding. And where we might have missed a turn or instructions in the past, may God's mercy help re-direct our "feet" to the right path. AMEN!


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