Prayer Starts with Listening
By Rick Warren
“During Darius’ first year as king, I, Daniel, was reading the Scriptures. I saw that the LORD told Jeremiah that Jerusalem would be empty ruins for seventy years.” Daniel 9:2 (NCV)
Prayer doesn’t start with talking. It starts with listening.
For your prayers to be effective, first listen to God by reading his Word, the Bible. You need to let God talk to you so you know how to pray, what to pray, where to pray, and when to pray.
Daniel prayed effectively because he knew God’s Word. He had survived three different administrations in captivity and even gotten promoted within them. He was 85 years old and knew God had promised to bring the Israelites home after 70 years in Babylon. But he also knew that the Israelites had not turned back to God. Seventy years later, they were still as messed up as they ever were.
“During Darius’ first year as king, I, Daniel, was reading the Scriptures. I saw that the LORD told Jeremiah that Jerusalem would be empty ruins for seventy years” (Daniel 9:2 NCV).
Because he studied Scripture, Daniel knew what God had promised and what was required of Israel. Because of that, he could make wise decisions.
You will never pray effectively until, like Daniel, you study the Scriptures and learn from God’s Word—every single day. The more you know the Bible, the more prayers you're going to have answered. You've got to read from God’s Word every single day so you can learn and remember the promises that God has made to you.
Don’t go to bed without spending some time, however long it is, listening to God by reading the Bible and then talking to him. Daniel did this three times a day for more than 70 years! It was a daily habit for him.
Do you think your life would be any different if you had a conversation with God three times a day for your whole life? It’s no wonder Daniel avoided problems, became wise, and kept getting promoted.
Developing a habit of daily Bible study and prayer will revolutionize your life. It will make you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stronger. You will be more confident, less fearful, and less stressed. It will improve every single area of your life.
Make it a point today to start a healthy discipline of Bible study and prayer so that you can listen to God and talk to him.
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.
Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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