One of The Most Thrilling Parts of Prayer is Listening For God’s Reply.
In guiding your children to pray, are you also teaching them how to listen for his answers? Sure, anyone can hear the answer of God through a miraculous healing. But are you also helping your children hear his voice step-by-step along the way when he has made it clear that waiting is involved?
Since God does not usually speak words that we can hear with our ears, how do we know when we are truly hearing him?
I believe there are two major methods:
1) By reading and thinking about God’s words in the Bible. After all, his voice will always agree with his written Word.
2) By watching what God is doing in our lives and the world around us. (Of course the more we know God’s Word, the easier it is to see his hand at work.)
By overlapping these two methods, there are at least 16 different ways the Scriptures teach that God speaks to us. Today, let’s talk about one of these 16 ways: good things.
James 1:17 states, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”
In other words, when we see or experience beauty or blessing in our world, this is actually like hearing God’s voice of reassurance and hope.
Let me give you an example.
One of my recent prayer requests has been for God to interact with my family members, so that an ongoing disagreement may be resolved. Because of the nature of the disagreement, it seems obvious that there are no easy solutions and at times I feel tempted to give up and feel despondent – wondering if there is any hope.
But then this morning I saw something that I had never seen before. When I walked out on my back patio, I spotted this lovely little flower blooming among the succulent plants I purchased a month ago. The plant is called a Heartleaf Ice Plant; and to my surprise it produces these adorable little wine red flowers. My heart was delighted.
So what was God saying to me? “There is hope, Susan. New life is always happening in my world. Continue nurturing the members of your family like you water and feed this plant. I will provide the growth and wonder at the appropriate time. Don’t give up!”
This week, as you help your children pray for hard things, remember to also help them watch for the good things God is providing to encourage them not to give up. God’s voice of hope in the midst of fervent prayer is always available, especially when he requires us to wait on him for the final answer.
P.S. Once I saw this lovely example of God at work, I noticed other wonders: a purple bloom with tender yellow pistils on the Wandering Jew, new tiny berries on the String of Pearls that almost died from too much water, and babies bursting forth from the middle of the Roseum. Thanks for all your encouraging words to me, Father. I won’t give up!!