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The Gift of Prayer:

Talking with and Listening to God


Truths that Transform:
1. God wants us to pray.
In fact, God commands us to pray. God wants us to pray all the time. Prayer is ongoing
communication with God. We can pray to God any time of the day or night. Our hearts listen to
His voice and can be ready to pray at all times.
Send arrows of prayer to Heaven throughout the day. God wants to hear you. He wants you
to have fellowship with Him and experience His nearness. He wants you to walk with Him when
you are frustrated, depressed, excited and celebrating. Enjoy His presence and get a taste of
Heaven!
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With
this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians
6:18)
2. The prayers of righteous people bring change.
Theres a familiar saying by Hudson Taylor: When we work, we work. When we pray, God
works. Prayer is powerful. When we go about our tasks in prayer, we recognize that we are
powered and directed by God living in us! What more could we ask for? The verse below says
that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Who among us is righteous? Well,
the Word says that all who are washed in the blood are free from condemnation. We walk in the
righteousness of Jesus!
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may
be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16).
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and
seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and
will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
3. Prayer gives us peace. We can bring anything and everything to God.
The verse below is a good verse to remember when youre nervous, stressed, worrying, or
having a difficult time. If worrying is a big problem for you, write your worries on a piece of
paper, and destroy the paper as a symbol of giving your worries to God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which

transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
4. God will give you the desires of your heart, when your heart is aligned with His will.
Delighting in God and enjoying His awesomeness will help our hearts be aligned with His.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm
37:4).
5. Commit your ways to the Lord and seek His guidance in everything.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed (Proverbs
16:3).
6. Prayer is two-way communication.
Spend time listening to God and hear His Spirit nudge your heart into action. Hear Him
express His love to you. Allow Him to bring scriptures to your mind.
But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him
(Habakkuk 2:20).
In 1 Kings 19:11-13, Elijah waited for the Lord to pass by. He thought the Lord might reveal
Himself in a powerful wind, earthquake or fire. But instead, God came to Elijah in a gentle
whisper. In the same way, we should listen to Gods gentle whisper in our lives.
7. Sometimes God says no or wait.
It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that I am not in charge of my universeGod is.
It breaks our hearts when we see the brokenness around usmaybe a friend struggling with
disease, or a marriage that is falling apart. We know that God wants healing and restoration more
than we do, but no matter how much we pray, God still allows death and destruction. What good
is all of Gods power if He doesnt use it like I think He should?
I have to trust that God has a plan. He allows brokenness, pain and death because we live a
world that is broken with sin, because God gave us the freedom to choose to follow Him or not.
Even the whole earth is groaning waiting for Jesus to return:
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will
of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from
its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of
God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of
childbirth right up to the present time (Romans 8:20-22).
Until Jesus comes back, there will be suffering. Does God want to heal? Absolutely! Does He
turn our hearts from sin and does He answer prayers? Yes! Sometimes Gods answer to our
prayers is yes and sometimes it is no or wait and that can be very frustrating. We have to

remember that God is God and His timing is perfect even though we do not understand. Jesus
will return one day and set all things right. Until then, we have to trust our loving Father in
Heaven.
8. God can handle our true feelings.
Dont be afraid to tell God exactly how you feel. Our anger is not going to mess up Gods
plans. The Psalms are full of David pouring his heart out to God. God listened and He cared.
Listen to how Job talked to God in the middle of his troubles:
I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out
in the bitterness of my soul. I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me
what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the
work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked? (Job 10:1-3).
God can handle our true feelings, and even though we dont understand Gods ways, we can
trust that He has a good plan for us! If youve never read the book of Job, read it to see how his
story ended.
9. Like the persistent widow in Luke 18, be persistent in prayer even when you feel like it
might not make a difference.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray
and not give up. He said: In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared
God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept
coming to him with the plea, Grant me justice against my adversary.
For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, Even though I dont fear
God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will
see that she gets justice, so that she wont eventually come and attack me!
And the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring
about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep
putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly (Luke
18:1-8a).

Express It and Live It!


1. Let God be your best friend. Talk to Him all the time. Enjoy being with Him. Its easy to
get stuck in ruts with prayer and just pray for our needs and wants all the time.
Sometimes we treat God like Santa Claus. God wants so much more for us and from us.
The acronym, ACTS, below may help you.

Adoration Praise God!


Confession Confess your sins to God and know that you are right
with Him.
Thanksgiving Let Him know how thankful you are for all He has
done for you.
Supplication Pray for others and for yourself.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Listen to others when they pray, and agree with them before the throne of God.
Watch how God answers prayer and share the amazing things He does.
Thank Him for answered prayer.
You may want to keep a prayer journal and write your prayers to God and His answers in
the journal.
6. Spend time in silence before God asking Him to speak His truth to your heart.