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.