Genesis 17:3-4 “And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.”
Gary Chapman, the author of “The 5 Love Languages,” has written another book, “Growing Up Social.” In it, he goes into detail just how technology has stolen much from God’s children. We have yet to see just how the increased screen time among God’s children has indeed affected us. But I tend toward the fact that it has severely hurt our relationship in prayer.
I was struck by the verse in Genesis today when it said, “…God talked with him,” which posed the question to my heart – ‘How often do I allow God the space to talk to me?’
Much of what we call prayer is a one-way conversation. Most often, we are telling God what He should and shouldn’t do for us. Often in corporate prayer, we are praying to impress others instead holding the heart of the congregation before the Lord, asking on behalf of the whole.
But the one thing I have had to focus and integrate into my prayer is allowing God to speak to me. When I ask a question, I pause. When I pose a situation for which I have no answer, I pause. I fail miserably so often. Yet, I know prayer to be so much more than reading my laundry list of wants to Him.
I am challenged by the patriarchs of old, like Abraham, who held conversations with God. Moses talked as near face-to-face with God as any man. As he came back from Mount Sinai after forty days, his face shone so brightly that they told Moses to wear a veil to cover his face.
Exodus 34:29, 33 “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. (33) And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.”
Joshua saw that his master walked with God and desired the same type of relationship.
Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.”
Is there a man or woman that has such a relationship with their Heavenly Father, that their face would seem to glow from having been in the presence of God? Do we have such a desire? If so, what is the fruit of such desires? And, if not, what is lacking?
Do we excuse such a lack in our life because of excuses like ‘I don’t have time”, or ‘I just don’t know how?’
I can only speak from personal experience that there have been times when I have heard clearly, the voice of God speaking directly to my heart.
His call to be saved was clear.
His calling for me to surrender to preach the gospel was as clear as if it was yesterday.
I have felt His presence in prayer as if He was there in the room right beside me.
Other times are too personal to describe here, but I cannot assume all have had the same. I do believe, however, that we can all have the same desire; that same desire for a close personal, intimate, relationship with the God of heaven.
It is not something conferred on a person like the laying on of hands. It cannot be inherited or willed upon someone. It must spring from one’s own heart to seek God in such a way that His answer is specific enough to be able to say, “God spoke with me today.’
God is no respecter of persons.
Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
God promises He will answer.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Luke 11:9-10 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
With my salvation secure, and my sins remembered no more, I must go forward with the firm belief that when I bow my head to pray, my Heavenly Father is not only listening but desirous to answer.
We are told to pray believing.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.“
As we head toward another weekend, may we strive to be a ‘difference-maker.’
Just as Moses affect Joshua, and David, Solomon, may we live in such a way as to show others the type of relationship a child of God can have when they allow for prayer to be a two-way conversation.