Biblical Prayer: When God Speaks

Exodus 19:18-19; Exodus 20:18-19, Thunder on the mountain
John 12:27-32, Thunder above the crowd
Acts 9:3-7, Confusion on the road
1 Kings 19:8-16, A still, small voice in the cave

More About Biblical Prayer

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Exodus 19:18-19; Exodus 20:18-19, Thunder on the mountain (9/15/08)

Have you ever noticed what noisy lives we lead?  Aside from volcanic eruptions, which are infrequent and also rarely heard by people who live to tell about it, thunder is the loudest noise in nature.  It's hard for us to appreciate the scriptures that talk about God's voice being "like thunder," because now we have so many noises in our lives that are louder.  Certainly we have many noises that are more persistent.  I love a heavy snow and a power outage, because it's quiet for a few minutes; the rest of the time, noise is all around us.  Many of the passages that talk about God's voice share two characteristics.  First, most people don't hear the voice of God, they hear thunder.  And second, many people don't want to hear God.  Unless we we want to hear God, all we will ever hear is noise. 

Today’s Prayer: God, I do want to hear what you have to say.  Help me to find some quiet so that I can understand you.  Amen.

John 12:27-32, Thunder above the crowd (9/16/08)

Let's think for a minute about recognizing voices.  Isn't there someone whose voice you always recognize?  Can't you tell you family members apart just by hearing their voices? When your mom summoned you home from the next block, didn't you always know who was calling?  How astonishing, then, that the crowd we read about today did not recognize God's voice!  And how sad that I am often in the same position.  God speaks to us to help us, but sometimes we are not close enough to God to recognize his voice.

Today’s Prayer: Dear God, Teach me to recognize your voice.  Amen.

Acts 9:3-7, Confusion on the road (9/17/08)

On the road to Damascus, the risen Lord Jesus speaks to Saul.  Naturally, Saul does not recognize his voice – and Saul is a very religious man – but at least he understands the words.  That's progress.  Those with him seem to have heard the voice but not the words, although it's not 100% clear.  Either way, they don't know what's going on.  Why is it that we have such trouble hearing what God has to say?

Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I still need help understanding what you say to me.  Please improve my listening skills.  Amen.

1 Kings 19:8-16, A still, small voice in the cave (9/18/08)

We've been looking at people who should have been able to hear God, but all they heard was thunder.  Now we find out why they were confused.  God's voice isn't like thunder, or a volcano, or a hurricane, or an earthquake.  Instead, God's voice is like a gentle breeze.  God doesn't makes threats, He asks questions.  Unfortunately, if all He gets for answers are complaints, sometimes He also give orders.

Today’s Prayer: Dear God, Help me to distinguish between "Acts of God" and the words of God.  Amen.

More About Biblical Prayer

The Purpose of Prayer
Conversations with God – Abraham
Conversations with God – Moses
Conversations with God – David and Solomon
Adoration: Sing to the Lord a New Song
Liturgical Prayer
When God Speaks
God promises to answer all prayers…
… Except the prayers of the Wicked. But if the Wicked repent, God hears them, too.
Sometimes the answer is “No.”
The disciples talk about prayer.
How Not to Pray
How to Pray: Effectively
How to Pray – Privately
How to Pray – Corporately

Copyright 2008, 2011 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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