Our Guest post today is from James Tyrrell. James holds degrees from Harvard and Brown University as well as a Certificate in Spiritual formation from Columbia University. Additionally, James has served as Pastor in Atlanta and is the author of Prayer for Busy People.
The average person has about 60,000 thoughts a day, 80% of which are negative and close to 90% represent something other than God's promise to them. That is a lot of dirt and distraction we heap on ourselves. God knows our situation and will work with us if we listen for the Spirit’s leading.
God’s people have always made use of listening prayer though you may know it by another name. The Hebrew word for “Wisdom” means, literally, “the ability to listen to life and its people from our hearts.” “Heart” in Hebrew is not so much about emotion as it is about the center of who people are. We sense this is true. We talk about the “heart of the matter.” We admire people who can grasp the essential content of situations. We recognize that they have a practical wisdom about how to use knowledge to manage life well. That is what Biblical Wisdom is about, learning to hear God who helps us manage life well.
Wisdom is a gift. As great as we are in some areas of living, we just need God’s help in others. We wake up one day and realize that our lives are getting too complicated. We are trying to please too many people. We want contradictory things. Solomon came to realize that “he was in over his head” when he was a 16 or 17 years old and just inherited his father’s thrown. So in the sort of dream we call a vision God appear to Solomon and says, “I will give you one wish. What do you want?” He answered, “A God Listening Heart.”(The Message, 1 Kings 3:9). Ask God for the desire to hear where his Spirit is leading you in your life.
Second, the gift of a God Listening Heart has a specific purpose: to be a blessing to others. This has been the case since Abraham. After you pray for the welfare of others, hold a mental picture or the name of a specific person and ask, “Lord, is there a gift you want me to give them?” Be still and listen. Whether or hear anything or sense or feel or however you receive God’s leading or not, hold five people a day close to your hear and ask and listen. Keep a record to what God asks you to do, which of these acts of love you do well and which are a struggle and the results in your life. Doing this will give you a solid foundation for knowing your value to God and teach you how to value other’s with God’s love.
If you want to know more about this specific type of prayer, check out http://prayerforbusypeople.com/wordpress/?page_id=49
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