Jesus says in John 10 that His sheep follow Him because they know His voice (vs 3). In preparing for my sermon a few weeks ago, I read a great book on prayer by Anglican Missionary Bishop, Alfred Stanway. Here are a few gems:
* We only learn to pray by praying. We only learn to hear God by listening.
* In prayer we not only get answers, more importantly we get God.
* When we pray God listens not as much to our words but the real needs and desires of our hearts.
- (He has our long term best interests in mind.)
* God speaks and answers usually with the purpose of increasing faith not fireworks.
Do you remember when Peter asked Jesus to let him walk on water? (Mt 14:28-31). Jesus called his bluff and responded with an invitation to act in great faith. When we come to the Lord in prayer, Jesus sometimes answers by inviting us out into a place requiring greater faith.
Our Bishop John Guernsey is a man of prayer who has spent decades walking with God and learning to pray and listen to the Lord. He tells the story of coming to God in prayer about participating in the $7 million dollar capital campaign for their new church. You can imagine his surprise when one day in prayer he sensed God asking him to give 10 times more than he and Meg were thinking they could afford. Wisely he sought counsel with wife Meg. To his greater surprise, she had heard the same thing from the Lord! So they decided together to begin asking God to provide for them the resources to give what the Lord was asking them to give. They took a step of faith in obedience to what they heard God say. Low and behold, God provided what He had ordered!
Hearing God can be risky! Hearing God speak may mean having to respond with risks, faith, and stepping out of the boat. As we are in a period of listening to God not only about our lives but about how we will participate in the future of Resurrection, may we take the time to pray and hear God speak and have the courage to obey wand trust Him with what He says.
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”