9 DECEMBER 2018   PRAYING TO GOD AND LISTENING TO GOD   “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16 Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons God has given to His believers. I have often been  impressed with this topic and how great a gift it is. It is a great privilege and should not be taken  for granted. We should thank God often for this way of communication with Him. Praying should  not become a mere ritual, but we should remember that we are coming before God’s throne and  giving our request. Each time we do it, it should be alive and fervent. “The effectual fervent prayer  of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).    Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath! He lives by it or dies from the lack of it. This is something  that should be done daily and not just as a last resort.  Our Father is interested in every area of our  lives.  He wants us to come before Him and tell Him everything, both good and bad. Even though  He knows everything about us and could do it for us without asking, it delights Him to see His  children humble themselves and simply ask but we also need to learn to wait upon the Lord and  let Him speak to us. Courtesy the “Messenger of Truth” Gospel Publishers Moundridge Kansas  The Prophet Elijah was taught by God not to expect God’s voice to come to him in the midst of  some spectacular natural occurences and those directions I believe are ones we can learn from  today as wer wait upon the Lord and his response to our prayers - be they requests or complaints  as Elijah’s were:    And he (Elijah) said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of  Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the  sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he (God) said, Go  forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great  and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD  was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the  earthquake:And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a  still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and  went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and  said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 1 Kings 19:10-13   And this quote used by permission from “The Treasure of the Celtic Triangle” by Michael Phillips, Barbour  Publishing, 2012:  “When you are uncertain of the course you are to pursue get quiet before God. Centre down, as  our Quaker brethren like to say. Then listen. The still, small voice will speak. But you must learn to  hear it. You must attune yourself to its soft and subtle rhythms within your spirit. The inner voice  is never loud. You will not receive its promptings through the newspaper headlines, but as it were  through some tiny printed message embedded deep in the paper. The Spirit speaks with nudges,  not proclamations, these it takes years of practice to learn to hear. They emerge out of your own  thoughts – yet they are distinct from your own thoughts. Even that distinction, however, is subtle,  oh so very subtle. The enemy will seek with his whilst to ensnare you into thinking that your  desires and ambitions, couched in the thoughts that come, God’s thoughts. They may be, though it  takes great wisdom to know how to define between them.   Always be wary of justifying your own ambitions. Still, small voice most often nudges you to lay  down your ambitions, not pursue them. Until the desires of your heart emerge out of the  wellsprings of God’s will, your own ambitions may be your enemy. It is only after they are laid on  the altar of relinquishment, and their dye into the will of God, that your ambitions become your  strength. So lay aside your own ambitions, then listen – listen to the heavenly nudges. As they  grow within you, move one step at a time into the light of their leading.” 
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