“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22
Hello dearly loved one, I want to tell you a quick story about how I came to begin talking with God. Perhaps you have a similar story. Growing up in the church, I was always taught that “quiet time” with God meant reading the Bible and praying to God. But I missed out on something life-changing—the intimacy that comes from a back-and- forth conversation with God where I ask Him questions, He answers, and so on. I didn’t even know what I was missing, but once I found it, my relationship with God went to a whole new level. God became so very real to me, and I now long to hear from Him all the time. I wonder if you have come to this realization yet? If you haven’t, and you now want to get started, or even if you have been doing this for years, this is the book for you!
Think with me a moment about how conversations happen with your close friends: You share, then your friend shares—you might ask each other for advice, laugh with each other, or pour out your hearts to one another. What you have with your friends is a two-way conversation where you hear each other’s hearts, and it’s the same in your relationship with God. He loves you so much more than you can even comprehend (Ephesians 3:18-19), and He loves to talk to you. He is always with you (Matthew 28:20), He is humble and gentle in spirit, and with Him, you will find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:29). He is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31), He is the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep (Psalm 23), He is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:7-11), and no one and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39). I could go on and on because there is so much more, but you get it. He is the best! The best friend, Father, advisor, and confidante you could ever ask for!
So how do you have a conversation with God? This might feel foreign or unattainable for you or only for the super-spiritual, but it’s not. Praying with God is so natural and will immeasurably deepen your relationship with Him. Remember that as a Christ-follower, you already have the Holy Spirit inside of you (Romans 5:5). One of the Holy Spirit’s roles is guiding you into all truth. He will teach you all things (John 14:26), He only speaks what He hears from Jesus (John 16:13), and He will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:13-15). Doesn’t this sound like something you want to hear? I know I do! So be intentional about listening for Him. One way to do this is to use this journal. At the end of each study, each author has included a suggested question for you to ask God. Use it as a guide. Feel free to journal about that question and any other questions that might arise in your heart. Hearing God might take a little practice at first, but be patient. It is worth it! After asking Him, listen for His response, and be sure to trust that when you ask, He will be faithful to answer (Matthew 7:7)!
You might hear from God through His voice (which often sounds like impressions that He places on your heart), His Word, or in a picture He gives you in your mind. In fact, there are so many different ways you can hear from God that it would be impossible to list them all here. Pay attention not only to what He says, but also to how He says it, and make sure you record things exactly as you hear them. God even has a purpose for the specific words He uses. You may be surprised, in the most delightful way, at the tone or language that He uses. And remember: God never contradicts His Word. So if you have heard something from Him, always cross-check it with the Bible.
Now that you have heard from God, what do you do next? Write it down! And then thank Him for what He just told you. Make sure you record all of your interactions with God, including any additional back-and-forth conversations that may result from the initial question. These records will be invaluable to you throughout your life. When you are walking through a seemingly impossible trial, when you feel far from Him, or when you desperately need to be reassured of His love, these beautiful testaments to His personal, intimate love and plans for you will carry you. And can you imagine what a powerful and priceless legacy of faith these prayer journals will be for your kids someday? A friend once told me that when his father passed away, and the siblings were splitting up their father’s possessions, the one thing they all most wanted was his prayer journals. This is the kind of legacy you will want to leave!
In Matthew 4:4, Jesus Himself quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, saying, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Dear Sister, just as you would not go a day without food, don’t go a day without hearing from Him! His words are life!
Linda and the Help Club for Moms Team