“A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realized that prayer was listening.” Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)
Prayer is a two way street. We must resist becoming so fixated on what we want to say, that we fail to quiet ourselves and allow space for God to speak.
How does God speak to us? Let’s be clear. God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. So He will speak through whatever or whomever He chooses. Other than supernatural manifestations (think burning bushes and talking donkeys), God speaks to us in two ways – through Revealed Truth, and through the everyday circumstances of our lives.
Revealed Truth consists of the created world (nature), scripture (the Bible), and the life and words of Jesus Christ. These things are God revealing himself to us. Telling us how things are meant to work and how He desires that we live. We hear through these things by paying attention to the created order, through daily Bible study and prayer, and through attentive listening.
The second way God speaks to us is through the ordinary circumstances of our day-to-day lives, to wit:
- life circumstances, both joyful and difficult;
- wise and godly people who are brought into our lives;
- gifted teachers, including our local church pastor and on Christian radio;
- whispers of the still small voice of the Holy Spirit giving us the promptings and counsel of Jesus.
God longs for a personal and deepening relationship with each of us. He wants us to hear Him. And He speaks to each of us differently, in the ways we are individually wired. And never forget His sense of humor and irony.
So, is it really God speaking? See you tomorrow.