Prayer Requests and Learning How to Pray

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Why You Can't Just Pray (You Have to Listen, Too)

Why You Can't Just Pray (You Have to Listen, Too)

“The word of the Lord came to Elijah… “I will send rain upon the earth.” That was the foundation of that persistent praying and sevenfold watching on the mountaintop. First the ear heard, then the voice persistently claimed, and the eye expectantly looked. First the voice of God, then the voice of man. That is the true order. Tremendous results always follow that combination.” S. D. Gordon

In order to pray God’s will, it is crucial that we hear His voice clearly. We all know what it is like to talk with someone who never listens. It is terribly frustrating. Likewise, God wants us to learn to listen to Him. As we spend time before Him in quiet listening we are able to pray His will more fervently and with greater expectation, hitting the target effectively. We need to be certain of hitting our target as we pray for the situations we see around us.

When you give God time in listening prayer, He will direct your prayers strategically, even when you don’t realize it. He will help you to proclaim His will in your prayers, and your level of faith will increase. God has so much to say to us daily, but often we can’t hear the fine, quiet tones of His voice.

When I was growing up, my father used to make and sell hearing aids from our home. Individuals would come into our house with hearing aids that needed repair. We, as a family, would not even bother to go into the living room to talk with them, because we knew they were not able to hear our voices. How many of us are in the same situation with God?

Think about these questions as you evaluate your personal relationship with God:

  • Are you able to endure silence?
  • Are you tuned into hearing God’s still, small voice?
  • Are you able to listen attentively to what He is saying above all the noise of your world?

He can’t tell us things because our hearing needs repair or we are not taking the time to listen. He often can’t speak into our lives because we are not ready or able to discern the treasures of what He has to say to us. As we could not communicate with my father’s hard-of-hearing guests, God may feel the same way with us. He can’t share His secrets because we are not listening or are distracted. We are not able to hear Him whispering in our ear. As a result, we are the ones who miss out and have chosen the lesser thing. And our expectation of what God can do does not increase.

Listening prayer builds expectation. Notice the difference between Mary and Martha in Luke 10:39-41, "She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made… 'Martha, Martha', the Lord answered, 'you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better.'" Mary listened and sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha worked.

Here is a 4 1/2 minute prayer and teaching to help you hear God's voice called: A Prayer for Hearing God's Voice. This is part of the Intercessors Arise International School of Prayer. 

“As you study your Bible, you may sense that God has something to say directly to you through the verses you are reading. Take a moment to consider the awesome reality that the God who spoke and created the universe is now speaking to you. If Jesus could speak and raise the dead, calm a storm, cast out demons, and cure the incurable, then what effect might a word from Him have upon your life?” Henry and Richard Blackaby

Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)

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