Practices of Discipleship: Prayer

Prayer is more about listening than talking:

Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.

Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
For a dream comes through much activity,
And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.

Eccles. 5:1-3

The main point of praying is putting yourself somewhere you can hear clearly.  There is both a physical and a moral/spiritual element to this placing.

Physically it should be quiet and alone (we are not talking about corporate prayer here which is a different thing).

Morally you need to be devoted, set aside or holy.  Your only desire should be to do His will otherwise you won’t hear properly:

17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

John 7:17,18

You also need to give this time and priority.  I find that first thing in the morning is best and an hour is a good length of time.

Once you are in the quiet place (Psalm 91), the aim is to take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

I find that the meditative technique of “centering down” helps here.  Thoughts actually come out of the heart or centre of you (not your head – Matt. 15:18, Luke 6:45) and therefore bringing your inner man to a place of quiet is important if you are to listen to God who is in you (Col. 1:27).

God is not far away, He is in fact very close to His children (Romans 10:8, Acts 17:28).   If you are born again and abiding in Jesus, His word is in your heart and written on your mind (Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 10:16).

When a thought comes to you, capture it and check it against the name or character of Jesus as He has been revealed to you through the Holy Spirit and His word.  If it requires action do it as long as it is something God would do.  If you are unsure ask another brother/sister who you trust and who loves you.

I am writing these things because I believe God has told me to and it is the kind of thing He does.  I also checked with Olive.

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