More Than Talk
"Whatsoever things are true ... honest ... just... pure ... lovely ... of good report ...
Think on these things."(Philippians 4:8)
Prayer is not merely what we say to God. It is responding thoughtfully to what He has already said and what He is constantly saying to us through His Word. For this reason, the Bible is an important part of our ongoing conversation with the Lord.
One way to develop conversation with God is to open the scriptures and read thoughtfully to discover what the text is telling you about the mind, affections, and values of God. Ask Him to help you discover the interests and desires of His heart. Then respond from your own heart to what you are hearing. As you do, you will begin to develop confidence that you know what is important to God. You will also begin to discover what God is doing in your own heart.
For example, as you pray in response to reading 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, you will know God's mind about love and applying it to your relationships. It may be the phrase 'love is patient' that impresses you because you've been impatient with a friend in their situation. Knowing this will lead you to change your behavior and attitude because you understand what God desires.
Francois Fenelon wrote: "Be silent, and listen to God. Let your heart be in such a state of preparation that His Spirit may impress upon you such virtues as will please him. This silence of all outward and earthly affection and of human thoughts within us is essential if we are to hear his voice! "
It won't necessarily be an audible voice. However, you will know it's the voice of the Spirit when you hear the truths of the scripture. So remember, when you take time to pray it's more than talk or just personal requests, it’s reading the Word and hearing God's voice in the Word so you can pray His heart and will into the everyday situations of your life. Then, submit quickly and willingly to what He is saying to you!! As someone has said, ‘It’s not just about you reading the Word, but the Word reading you!!”
Mmmm – Think about it!