A man who grew up in church all his life complained to his friends one day. “Why do people say, ‘God told me this or that?’ I’ve never heard God say anything to me!” Perhaps you have felt the same.
God does speak to us and in many ways. Most often, He speaks as you read the Bible or listen to a sermon. God speaks through family members or friends. But there are times God speaks profoundly through prayer.
Years ago my husband faced an internal battle of whether God wanted him to go to the mission field or not. Every time a missionary spoke at the church, he felt an urgency to respond to the call. But was it really God urging him or was it just emotions? He wanted to be certain. I wanted him to be certain also. I had no desire to take my children to a foreign country.
One day my husband announced to me he was going for a prayer walk to finally get an answer once and for all. After he departed, my anxious thoughts wouldn’t let me sit still, so I opened the ironing board and began ironing and praying. As the iron glided over my husband’s shirt, I pleaded with the Lord. “God, you called me to be a pastor’s wife. You said nothing about being a missionary’s wife!” Immediately, I felt Him answer. It wasn’t audible. It was more like a thought that I knew wasn’t my own. “I called you to be Curt’s wife.” Like it or not, I had my answer. Wherever God would take Curt, He wanted me there also.
When you pray, focus your attention on Who you are talking to. Meditate on what you know about Him. He is the Creator of the universe. He is also the one who has the power to destroy this world. He is powerful and mighty beyond anything we can imagine, but He is also our loving Savior who endured the cross so we could be saved. When you have a proper view of God, you will pray with greater humility and confidence – humility, that Almighty God should even listen to you, and confidence, because of how much He loves you. As you pray, expect an answer. He may drop a thought into your mind. He may bring to your remembrance a Bible verse. He might answer you through a sermon or the words of a friend. Listen. It’s difficult to hear God when you’re distracted.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV)
“’If anyone has ears to hear let him hear.’ He went on to say, ‘Pay attention to what you hear…’” (Mark 4:23-24a BSB)
A few years ago, I was especially burdened for my son. He grew up in the church and we had taught him diligently about God. He was in a good youth group and had Christian friends. But at some point after high school, it became clear that our son had chosen a different path. During that time, he began dating a young lady I knew could not be the right one for him. I was afraid if he continued seeing her, he would never turn back to God. I fell on my knees in my prayer closet and begged God to get a hold of my son. I pleaded with the Holy Spirit that He would draw him and help him remember all he had been taught. And I asked God to break up his relationship with this girl. As I prayed the last, I clearly felt God speak to my heart, “Pray for her.” I knew it was God. He never uses many words but they always have a profound impact. From that day on, my prayers changed for this young lady and, a few months later, I had the inexpressible joy of seeing my son and his girlfriend commit their lives to God. Today, she is my daughter-in-law and I couldn’t be happier.
When you pray, expect an answer. You are communicating with the Living God who hears you and will answer you. Sit quietly before Him. Meditate on His goodness. There are times all I do is praise Him for who He is and all He’s done. As I pray, I begin to sense His presence and His love. Let me encourage you to keep your eyes and ears focused on Him. Don’t write things off too quickly as a coincidence. God does speak if we will listen.
Anneliese Dalaba lives in Michigan with her husband of 30 years. She has been in full-time ministry beside her husband all of those years. Anneliese has worked as an administrative assistant and medical transcriptionist. After raising their two children, she is now experiencing the wonderful phase of grandparenting. She is an avid reader and the author of Christian historical romance novels. Anneliese is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and ACFW Great Lakes Chapter. She has published two books in the Arranged Marriage Series which takes place in the early 1800s in England: Reluctant To Wed and The Marriage Maneuver. You can find her books by clicking on this link: https://amzn.to/2re5smY. They are available in paperback and ebook format and they are FREE on KindleUnlimited.
I so identity with your experiences. Thank you, Anne.
We do have a wonderful caring father… Learning to listen!
Thank you, Rita.
Such an inspiring post, Anne! He is faithful to speak and direct us.
Amen! He certainly is. Thanks, Esther!
God has been speaking to me about listening/ heading his voice. I just picked up a book on listening prayer, then read your blog. I feel the same way; audibly heard that I am supposed to wait and be content… when I am wrestling with impatience. Thank you for being used by Him
Thanks for sharing your story, Candice, and for your kind words. God bless you!
I can relate to your experiences Anne. When my hubby was in the Navy and it was time for his next duty station, he asked me what place I didn’t want to go. I said, “California.” I prayed about it and God showed me He was in control, not me. Guess where my hubby was sent—California! That was God’s will. We found a wonderful teaching church. It was like a Bible college. We studied the Bible in depth Sunday mornings, Sunday night, and wednesdays , plus we attended a Bible study. God taught us so many lessons at that church.
Thank you for sharing your story, Deb. So encouraging. What a wonderful place that church must have been.
Ah, that is an inspiring and wonderful story about your daughter-in-law! I love how God works!
Amen! Thank you for your kind words. God bless you, Jessica.
“When you have a proper view of God, you will pray with greater humility and confidence – humility, that Almighty God should even listen to you, and confidence, because of how much He loves you.” This proper view of God is so important – in answered prayer, in worship, in our relationships. Oh, I pray that we would hear a higher view from the pulpits of this world!
Good post. Thanks.
Thanks for stopping by, Beth, and for your words of encouragement. God bless you.
Prayer…we are blessed to be able to share time with Him through prayer.
Amen! We certainly are blessed, Melissa. Thanks for stopping by.
I enjoyed reading your blog ,so encouraging. Wonderful testimony.
God’s blessings to you.
Thank you, Liz. And God bless you also.
What a beautiful experience with God concerning your daughter-in-law! I love the phrase,”As I pray, I begin to sense His presence and His love.” That is the best! Getting that experience leads me to be open to whatever He has for me. Blessings to you!
What a great reminder! God does indeed speak. We just need to take time to listen.
So important to listen and distinguish God’s voice from our own. Good thoughts.