Hebrews 4:!2 (NKJV )
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Last week we explored how to prepare to listen to God, and over these next two weeks, we are going to look at two ways we can hear God. I want you to know that there are more than two ways to hear God however, it has been my experience and the author of our guidebook experience that these two ways have been able to prepare our hearts and minds to hear what God is saying. This week we are going to explore the importance of praying the scripture. Of note, this way provides more structure and is most valuable if you are struggling hearing God or if the amount of time you have to quiet down is limited.
Consider the following:
Our scripture lesson indicates that Christ is the Word of God and the word is the birth of the mind. Christ is the Word that spoke for the elect in the covenant of grace and that spoke all things out of nothing in creation. He is the Word that has been promised and spoke of by the prophets from the beginning of the world. He is the interpreter of His Father’s mind and our Advocate with the Father. He is the living Redeemer and Mediator. It is by the words of His mouth, the power of His Spirit, and the efficacy of his grace that are more cutting so when it reaches the secret and hidden places of His people, the divine Word penetrates them. The scripture also highlights that Christ knows what is in his people because He is the searcher of their hearts and the trier of the reins. Therefore, today, I encourage you to study the scripture because Christ is the Word, thus ultimately you are studying Christ.
Japenga suggests for you to allow the scripture to be a vehicle whereby you encounter the living God. To accomplish this, he suggests six methods (pg. 29-30): 1) select a portion of Scripture (not more than 10 verses) - it is recommended to start with Psalms, Proverbs or one of the Gospels; 2) ask God to speak to you through this passage; 3) read the passage through one or two times very slowly and ask you read, ask God to highlight one thought or one word to you (sometimes, it is helpful to write the passage out in full, and write this down in a prayer journal as well as the word or thought that came to you); 4) read the passage again slowly, asking God to show you how your life is touched by this passage and record your thoughts; 5) read the whole passage at least one more time and ask God to show you if there is an invitation for you in this passage (record your question and what you believe God may be showing you in a prayer journal); and 6) using the scriptures as a springboard, pray about whatever God has brought to mind, and remember the pray could be for you, others, or a situation. As a reminder there are various forms of prayers such as petitionary - asking God for something, intercessory - standing in the gap for another person, prayer of confession, thanksgiving, or even a cry for help. I encourage you to download our guide to study further about the various prayers (pg. 30).
Devotion is based on: “An Introductory Guide to Listening Prayer: God’s invitation for you to join Him on a quest.” click here to download the guide.