When Jesus says "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me." (John 7:16), he saying that he listens before he opens his mouth; that every prayer he prayed was a form of Listening prayer. Those who follow this model listen before they pray. Can we be as radical as Jesus and not doing anything until we see (sense, hear) a nudge from the Father?
The listening prayer standard - the standard given us by Jesus - would often mean that we stop praying our own prayers. We wait on God. I pray when appropriate with my clients but often there is a strange pause as we start to pray. I listen first, then speak.
Jesus said: "Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Listening to and hearing God's word spoken to us is nurture. Jesus said: "My food is to do the will of him who sent me." This means that there is great joy in doing God's will. Of course there is because then he loves us and dwells in us. That brings Joy.
Peter wrote about hearing God's voice on the mountain as confirming that Jesus is God's son. "We were eyewitnesses to his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, This is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased." Peter declares that "We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain." 2 Peter 1:16-18. Peter has told us that listening prayer - hearing God's voice - confirmed his testimony about who Jesus is.
Just as sheep in the mideast knew and followed the voice of their shepherd, Jesus' followers know, hear and follow his voice. "The sheep hear his voice" - John 10:3. "The sheep follow him for they know his voice" - John 10:4.
Sheep are safe when they are with their shepherd. They go in and out of the sheep pen with their shepherd. In the same way Jesus says that we are safe if we flee from the voice of strangers and follow him. He says: "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep" - John 10:7. "If anyone enters by me, he will be saved" - John 10:9.
Jesus knew that one could not name and claim a promise of scripture. You needed to listen to the God who speaks to us. When the devil tried to seduce Jesus to jump presumptuously off the temple it was by quoting scripture. The devil gave him a two Biblical promises: "He shall give his angels charge over you" - Psalm 91:11 and " In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone" - Psalm 91:12. Jesus knew that would be testing God. Jesus answered this temptation with; "Do not put the Lord your God to the test." Without listening prayer we can pray out of presumption. We can test God.
To claim any Biblical promise without permission would be what Jesus meant by testing God - Matthew 4:7. To avoid faith presumption we need humility before God. We can't force God to do something because it is written. Who do we think we are? We need to listen and receive revelation from God. Humility is expressed in listening prayer.
Rather than just assuming rights to any and every Biblical promise, we ask God if this applies to us, in this situation, at this time. And listen.
Rather than just assuming it is our right to pray anything and assume it is God's will, we need to do listening prayer. Faith and faithfulness are based on correct response to revelation. Revelation of God's word builds faith. God's faith comes with faith installed. Faithfulness is based on obedience to God's directions. These are received by taking time to listen.
Basing prayer on some form of received revelation, some inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is what brings prayer out of the realm of duty and religion to the realm of the supernatural and healing. It is a revolution.
More about listening prayer. Return to listening-prayer-home-page, go to How to do Listening Prayer
How to do listening prayer.
Faith of the heart prayer
How to remove a curse
How to do Protection Prayers
Praying for Christian Healing
© 2009 by George Hartwell M.Sc. - a Christian counselor with a masters degree from the University of Calgary, 40 years experience and who integrates prayer therapy into his professional counseling practice. About George or his professional practice see: George's Professional web site, Christian marriage counselling, Christian phone therapy, and Christian Marriage Retreats. To e-mail George click on: