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Listening Prayer in "Normal" Christian Living

Listening Prayer in “Normal” Christian Living

Back to basics. Jesus Christ commissioned the Apostles to pursue two great mandates; Make committed disciples, and teach them about all that Christ was, is, and said (Matthew 28:19). Put simply, bring people to Christ and to Christ-likeness.

  1. Our objective in the world is to welcome lost people into Christ’s kingdom. We do this by sharing with them the good news of His grace and love, inviting them to embrace Him spiritually and openly through faith (Hebrews 11:6).
  2. Our objective in the Kingdom (church) is to lead new followers of Jesus to embrace the indwelling Christ at ever-deepening levels until the fullness of Christ is formed in them. Growing in Christ-likeness is our passion at Clearwater. It results from walking in the Spirit together. We want to be able to say with integrity, “For to me, to live is Christ [to live]” (Philippians 1:17a).

We move beyond just doing good things FOR Christ, and begin doing life and ministry WITH Christ.

Those two objectives are the basics of the Great Commission.

Now, let’s relate this to “Listening Prayer,” and, in particular, to the Lord’s Agenda Praying (‘L.A.P.’ See previous posting.)

When we invited Jesus to come into our hearts, He really did! He came in! He’s here right now in our hearts. That is a faith issue. And through faith, we are opened up to the whole spiritual realm within us as we are now connected with heaven itself. Our spirit can sense Jesus, can “hear” Him. The Holy Spirit was sent to bring us into remembrance of all Christ has said.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father put it plainly: “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” (Mark 9:7) Jesus said the same thing: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27)

These truths lead up to a challenge. Let’s hear Him. Let’s discipline our spiritual ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us and to our church family. Let’s be expectant and sensitive to the voice of the Spirit within.

I’m going back to affirm these basics for this reason. As I have spoken and written on “Listening Prayer,” I am getting a mixed range of reactions. Blank stares. Curiosity. Resistance. Hunger to learn more. Even folks that have grown up in the church are often hesitant. It seems to stretch some people beyond their doctrinal, denominational, and experiential backgrounds.

“Listening Prayer” majors in the Lord’s agenda. His agenda is for our maturing and our mission. Both require that we develop our sense of listening to the Spirit. Listening Prayer, therefore, is not some form of super-spirituality that only the spiritual elite experience, or some monk in a monastery. It is for you and me. Today, and every day. Right now.

Listening Prayer is “normal” Christian living.

Be encouraged. You can learn to listen to the Lord more effectively. And this will change your life.

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