When God, “formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life; man became a living soul.”[1] When Jesus arose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, he breathed on them, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”[2] and “He will teach you all things.”[3] Then Pentecost descended upon them, the Holy Spirit like tongues of fire filled those in the upper room and they each spoke in different languages.[4]  In the end of the holy book, the Spirit says, “come and let him who hears say, come!”[5] If Jesus is the word of God, I would say that the Holy Spirit is the breath and the voice of God.  We are in the days which Joel spoke of, when the spirit would be poured out on all men.[6] Are we listening? The spirit is God’s channel, his breath, he longs for us to meet with him, so that he can breathe into us his words. It is the Holy Spirit who is working in these last days and the voice of the Lord which speaks and teaches and discloses all things to come.  He is our helper. Are we hearing him? Are we listening to His voice? Are we allowing ourselves to stop, to rest for long enough to connect with God and hear him speak?

Prayer is not a channel for us to speak to God, it is a channel for God to speak to us.

How often we think of prayer as required to make our requests known to God, as if he doesn’t know our every thought, wish and whim.  He sees our needs before we do.  He understands what we want, when we don’t. He doesn’t hear us better or love us more when we pray and I don’t think he waits for us to ask, before answering, I think he waits for us to listen.

It is in the moment when we have shut out the world, put down our agenda, set aside precious time to dial his number that we hear his voice and receive his answers to those requests and questions and desperate pleas.  He is not withholding –we just are not listening.

It’s like working all week and never picking up your paycheck on Friday.   Would you then have the right to complain that you’re not getting compensated?

Do we have the right, like spoiled children to get everything, in the way which we prefer it? Is that how we parent? My kids would love to sit in front of the TV on the couch, eating every meal, but if they are hungry they must eat the food in the kitchen. It is always there.  How angry I would be, if my son complained to his teacher, after choosing, to not join us for dinner, “my mom and dad never feed me!”

We are making choices about our time.  We toss up our hopes and dreams to God and hold out our hands as if he’s going to send the answer down in a little bucket, written on a piece of paper, wherever we happen to be at that moment.  He is not our servant! Just as I am not my children’s maid and will not serve them dinner in the living room, unless they are sick or immobile.

If only we would direct our heart and mind to God in prayer time, he would intimate his mind and heart to us, because he is the one, “in whose hands are the depths of the earth”.[7]  God may not communicate the way we do, we must be focused in and tuned in to his straight, in order understand what he wants to say to us, and show us.  If we are instructed to worship in spirit and truth, how then should we pray? How do we communicate with God, who is spirit and how does he communicate with us? And if it is through the spirit and yet, we are trying to reach him through the soul – how will he hear his words? How will we understand his message?  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the SPIRIT is saying.”

Think of a shepherd and his sheep, or a horse and its master, or an infant and his mother.  The animal, and the infant do not speak the language of the master, the shepherd or the mother.  The sheep do not understand, when the shepherd says to them, “Go out to pasture”, the horse does not know to take a left “here”, and the child cannot respond when the mother says, “I love you”. And yet it works.  There are other ways of communication.  God is our all-knowing shepherd, master and Father.  We do not naturally understand his language. He does not communicate with us, the way we do with each other, but that does not mean he does not communicate. We must, like an infant be focused on every move he makes, or like that sheep which knows its shepherds touch, and hand and follows the sound of the shepherd’s voice to water, and approaches the shepherd when he appears.

Even Christ, the perfect spotless lamb, the son of God, in whom the Father is well pleased, even Christ, followed this respectful and mandatory protocol for communicating with His father. Because he was cloaked in flesh he had to pray in the spirit, and he was setting an example for men, who are also flesh.  The scriptures on multiple occasions by many witnesses speak of this prayer time when Jesus, ‘went off by himself to a lonely place to pray.’  Everything we receive is received through our flesh, our senses, our bodies on earth, we must remove that piece through prayer to converse with our God who is not dust, but divine.

“The effective prayer of a righteous man avails much.”[8] This is because the effective prayer is active prayer that is prayed by a man who sets aside time to connect with God.  He opens up that channel for the Spirit of God to speak. Not only does God speak to that man, accomplishing much, but God speaks through that man by the spirit.

My challenge to myself and to all who read this: Let’s get on our knees, seek and pray, and listen – for that answer that God has been uttering to us, trying to get our attention, in order to give us the response he has been waiting to give, and we have been begging him for.  In those moments it’s not just an answer we will receive, it’s so much more. We will receive the attention and the blessing of a loving Father and a doting dad.  I’m just wondering in that quiet, will suddenly the answer become secondary to what it is we really need.  It may not be our ears that hear the voice of God or our eyes that see a dove descending, but it will our spirit which understands the father’s heart to his children.

“Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God our Maker. For he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95: 6

[1] Genesis 2:7

[2] John 20:22

[3] John 14:26 & John 16:13

[4] Acts 2

[5] Revelation 22:17

[6] Joel 2

[7] Psalm 95

[8] James 5:16

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