God speaks to those who listen

After a time of intense prayer and Bible study a few days ago, God spoke this profound, simple message to me, “I speak to those who listen.” More on this to come; read on.

I’ve been praying extra lately—as I am sure many of us have been doing. And I have returned to the staples on prayer in my bookshelves. Which, by the way, are lined with a panoply of the more excellent books on prayer. As an aside, it is interesting the things we cherish in life when it comes to possessions. I would be hard-pressed to choose between my first editions of The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray (1898), Visions Beyond the Veil by H.A. Baker or Rees Howells Intercessor by Norman Grubb.

I mention these books on prayer as a “drum roll” to recommend to you, perhaps, the most exquisite piece I have read on prayer, how to pray a simple guide for normal people by Pete Greig. Please do read it.

Back to that, “more on this to come.” Bonhoeffer says—in his seminal work on fellowship with God and others—Life Together, “Silence before the Word leads to right hearing and thus also to right speaking of the Word of God at the right time. Much that is unnecessary remains unsaid. But the essential and the helpful thing can be said in a few words.” Bonhoeffer puts his finger on why I am hearing God more these days: I am listening more. I am listening intentionally and with many fewer distractions.

God is not mercurial in His speaking to us. He doesn’t blithely download a word here and there. He is constant, and His Word is always at our fingertips. We have a powerful in time our lives right now to deliberately be still and listen to the Lord. Turn your ear to Him during this time of stillness and diminishing distraction.

#47 of Top 100 Books Living in His Presence Vol. 1 by Sylvia Gunter

Tim Cameron Writings

300 plus pages of rich instructions, workbook guides, prayers, and encouragement to live in God’s presence. There are two volumes. It took me over five years to work through this volume. This work by Sylvia Gunter is an amazing compliation of a person’s life work in learning to pray and host the presence of God. Truly a gift from God.

View original post

#47 of Top 100 Books Living in His Presence Vol. 1 by Sylvia Gunter

300 plus pages of rich instructions, workbook guides, prayers, and encouragement to live in God’s presence. There are two volumes. It took me over five years to work through this volume. This work by Sylvia Gunter is an amazing compliation of a person’s life work in learning to pray and host the presence of God. Truly a gift from God.

What prayer is meant to be…

What prayer can be like—and probably is meant to be.

Sometimes it’s possible to become so absorbed in God’s reality that I forget myself completely. I am no longer consciously praying or worshipping. Words would be inadequate and even inappropriate. Anthony of the Desert described this 1,700 years ago, as “Perfect prayer is not to know that you are praying.”

Pete Greig

Andrew Murray calls this, “The Spirit of Prayer”. It is the work of the whole being, which continually stands in fullness of faith, in the purity of love, in absolute willingness to do and be what pleases God. It is the highest union with God in this life. What prayer is not. It is not any particular action confined to times, or words, or places. 

Pete goes on…If a movie is better than good—if it is truly great—you will eventually get completely caught up in its plot, utterly absorbed and deeply affected. Your popcorn will be forgotten. It will no longer be “me and the film” or even “the film and me” but “only the film.”  Such all-consuming experiences and the overwhelming human desire for them—in art, in sex, in nature, in moments of sporting euphoria, in deep conversations with friends—are rumors of another world. They whisper that we are made for eternity, wired to worship, happiest whenever we abandon ourselves to something greater and more beautiful than our own little lives.

Pass the test?

When difficult things happened to me in the past, I quickly looked for someone to blame. Who was I to blame if I couldn’t blame someone else? And if I couldn’t find someone, there was always Satan to accuse. Honestly, many of my problems were the results of poor decisions, immaturity, or outright sin.

The Lord was often disciplining me.

I believe now, significant portions of my trials were also testings from God, and they continue. What?! Does God test us? Oh yes, He wants to use us in majestic ways. First, we must be proven faithful and true.
It is hard to get our minds around the fact that the Spirit immediately took Jesus into the wilderness after His baptism to be tempted by Satan. The same thing happened to the children of Israel after being freed from bondage in Egypt—unlike Jesus; they failed their tests.

He spoke:
I am the potter. I see flaws no one else can see. You must be able to withstand the allure of the world, the lusts of the flesh, and your propensity to be proud. You need to be broken and refashioned. Do you know your appetites, attachments, and addictions?

I test you for a purpose. You must be trusted and remain faithful. The testing may seem severe, but it is only momentary. My surest vessels are forged in the fire and under the hammer. I desire for you to be a polished arrow, one that will fly true to course.

There are high possibilities that lie dormant in your life. My testing will enlarge your capacity for sympathy. You will grow strong in the Spirit. The fragrance of your life will change.

“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his deeds” (Jer. 17:10).
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he is tried, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

#49 of Top 100 Books The hungry Always Get Fed by Heidi Baker

I spend a lot of time at the garbage dump. It is my favorite place to be. The people there are so hungry that when it comes time to eat, they literally stomp on each other. I have witnessed this time and again, so I asked God, “What is this?” He said, The ones who are hungry get fed. The ones who are thirsty get to drink. It is that simple.

What are you doing for Lent?

Consider going through the twenty-three times Jesus prayed and do it over forty days.

Read 40 Days Through the Prayers of Jesus

Tim Cameron takes us to the source of all true prayer—the words and example of Jesus Christ Himself. It’s a refreshingly simple approach. What better teacher could there be? And what greater arena for growth? The prayers of Jesus powerfully shape our world to this day, and here is your invitation to join in..
—Pete Greig Cofounder of 24-7 Prayer International Author of How to Pray, Red Moon Rising and Dirty Glory.

40 Days Through the Prayers of Jesus is a compelling invitation into deeper intimacy with God. As Tim Cameron shows you how vital prayer was to Jesus, you’ll find your- self hungering for a greater connection yourself. You’ll no longer see prayer as a rigid obligation but as an endearing lifestyle of engagement with Jesus and the Father that puts everything else about life into perspective. This is a book you won’t want to miss!
—Wayne Jacobsen Author of He Loves Me and co-author of The Shack

#50 of Top 100 Books Read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. In The Great Divorce, the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. The Great Divorce will change the way we think about good and evil.

There are scenes in this book you will remember the rest of your life!

Two Days Until Lent: Fast Hurting Words for Lent

Two Days Until Lent Take The Forty-Day Word Fast for Lent
Lent February 26-April 11.

Join the hundreds upon hundreds of individuals, Bible study groups, School classes and others are using The Forty-Day Word Fast for Lent.

When asked what to do for Lent, Pope Frances made a list. At the top of his list was, 1. Fast Hurting Words!

What is Lent? When does Lent start? What to do during Lent? Lent is the six weeks leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most critical times of the year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the build-up to Christmas.