Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Communication With God
What is communication? It is a two way interaction. Prayer is the way we communicate with our creator God. It is through prayer that we find out who He is and it is through prayer that He discovers how much we want him to be part of our lives.
John Wesley said it best, “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” That is an awesome thought, our prayers enable God to act. He is waiting for us to ask for help, to ask for forgiveness, to ask for wisdom, to ask for knowledge, to ask for our needs to be met. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
I have first hand knowledge of asking and receiving. When I earnestly started seeking God in 1993, I would sit with my Bible opened to the concordance and just start looking up every reference to God. I wanted to know more and more about Him. I found out that He is the creator, He made man in His own image. I believe He made us in His image so that He could converse with us. Have a relationship with us. He wanted someone to share His knowledge with. Someone to marvel at all He is and all He has done. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still wants this relationship with each one of us. He created each of us with our own set of fingerprints, we are each one unique and different and He can relate to each one of us in a different manner.
God cannot communicate with us in our sinful state. He is so righteous and holy that He cannot look upon sin. He had to make a way to ‘atone’ for our wickedness so He made a way for us to come to Him.
Atonement is the Old Testament way that God taught the priests to come into his presence once a year. In Leviticus 16 we see God, through Moses, instructing the priest what to do to be cleansed of all their sins. Blood from a bull was to be sprinkled on the altar as a sacrifce to God. This blood was not a perfect sacrifice, it had to be done annually. This was always performed the tenth day of the seventh month. But this atonement was not lasting.
God took the form of a human being, clothed himself in humanity and willingly died for the sins of the world, just to have a relationship with us!
His blood was perfect sinless blood and the only way to provide a lasting atonement for all people.
That is amazing grace. We are so blessed to be called His children, and it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that this happens.
What is more amazing is that Jesus would go back to the Father God and speak in our behalf.
Hebrews 7:24-25 tells us that “because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” And in Hebrews 7:27 we see that “unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day... He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”
Every time we pray, Jesus interprets our prayers to God in a way that is acceptable to Him. He takes our feeble attempts of communicating, and puts our words into words that God can honor. Not because of who we are, but because of our belief in Christ as our mediator.
Therefore, we don’t have to worry if our prayers are eloquent or if we forget to say something that we are thinking. Even if we forget to pray for someone we promised to pray for, when we do remember them in prayer, we can know that God is timeless. Our idea of time means nothing to him.
Pray using your own language, using your own way of speaking because Jesus knows what you are saying and can tell his Father what we really need. He just wants us to ask.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us live our lives as Christians. This spirit is the very Spirit of God and it comes to live in those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the messiah, the one God sent to be our atonement. The Holy Spirit is living inside each and every believer.
There are times when we just don’t know what to say or how to pray. That’s when the Holy Spirit comes to help us. He is just waiting to be asked. He is such a gentleman, he will not impose himself on us, but waits patiently for us to call on him.
He not only speaks to God for us, but he also speaks for God to us. He puts the desire to pray for specific needs in our hearts.
He is our transmitter sending us requests from God and receiving our prayers to be filtered through Jesus, our interpreter.
Jesus told his disciples about this promised Spirit in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
God is always on call - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He doesn’t have an answering machine, or voice mailbox, he won’t put you on hold to answer another call, and you never ever get a busy signal.
I cannot remember a time when I asked God a specific question and he failed to give me an answer. I ask Him all sorts of questions and He gives me answers. Not in an audible voice, but within my spirit.
I remember one year in August in southwest Ohio, a cicada came flying into the car right in my face as I was driving down the road. They are very ugly bugs and very large. They don’t bite or hurt people, but their size is frightening.
I remember feeling fear and trying to overcome the fear by calling out to God. I asked Him why in the world He made cicadas. The answer came almost before I finished asking. In my spirit I heard Him say, “It’s food for the birds, Marsha.”
That’s right, he used my name, He knows each one of us by name and He is always eager to have a conversation with us. In Psalm 49:16 the Lord tells us that he has engraved us on the palms of his hands; our walls are ever before him. And in 1 Peter 5:7 he says, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
The only way to truly get to know God is by spending time with him. The only way to spend time with him is by diligently seeking him and by deliberatly setting aside time in his Word, the Bible. He reveals himself to us through his word.
God wants to know about you and the things that trouble you. He wants you to ask him about decisions in your life. He wants to be able to guide and direct you. He really does want to be a daily part of your life. After all, He is the one who created you, He has a lot at stake in your life.
If we look to Jesus’s example we see that every morning he got up early and went to a solitary place to pray. He was directed every step of the way by God, His Holy Father. He asked Him for help in all that he did. Why should we be any different?
When Jesus lived on this earth as a man, he experienced everything that we experience. I would imagine that he really didn’t “feel” like getting up early, but he knew that was the only time that he could have time alone with his Father.
When could you spend time alone with your creator? What time of day is your best? Begin now if you don’t already have a quiet time. It will become the most important part of your day.
How do you start spending time with God? What is the first step? Get a Bible, make sure you get a translation that you can understand. Plan a time of day that works best for you when you won’t be interrupted by the phone, the door, the demands of children.
For me, the first thing every morning is best. I just get up a little earlier than I used to and plan to spend at least 1/2 hour with God. I started with five minutes back in 1993. I used a little devotional book to get a focus for the morning. But there is no set formula. If you start seeking God, he will help you with the details.
Continue meeting with God everyday. I have heard that if you do anything for 21 days, it becomes a habit. Get to know your creator, He is waiting to speak with you. It doesn’t have to be a profound or Biblical conversation, He just wants to get to know you and wants you to get to know Him. Go ahead...pray.
We do want to know you more. We invite your precious Holy Spirit to teach us more about you. Today could you show us just one new thing about your character? We truly want a relationship with you because we love you and know that you love us. Thank you Father, in Jesus’ name. Amen