Prayer includes listening

Jeremiah 33:3

Central Theme:  We should learn to listen to God speaking.

Introduction–Tommy Andrew Dorsey, the gospel song writer, heard a small voice speak to him to stay at home but he did not listen.  He had to come back to the house, a voice said, “Stay!“ but he did not listen.  While he was gone, his pregnant wife died.  Then his little baby died.  He was angry at God, until he remembered that this small voice kept telling him to stay at home.  He wrote the song, “Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on let me stand.”

I.     Paul learned that a large part of prayer is listening to God.

A. Have a member read Jeremiah 33:3.

B.  Tell the story from Acts 16:6-10 of Paul‘s vision to go the Macedonia.

1.  Paul listened to God and we should be very happy.

2.  This meant that the Western World, many of our ancestors would hear the gospel.

II.     Listening is no mystery to us.

A. We are all familiar with a small voice that speaks to us.

1.  Usually says, “Don’t do that.”

2.  Many times we hear a voice that says, “Stop and help.”

3.  We might feel that we should, “Pray for George.  He needs help.”

B.  We call that our conscience

1.  Everyone has it–Christian and nonChristian.

2.  Every person in the world has an inside voice that speaks to us.

C. As Christians, we recognize that voice is usually God’s Spirit speaking to us.

D. We need to begin to follow God’s voice

E.  We need to begin to listen for God’s voice

1.  Maybe today, as we get ready to eat our refreshments or talk to a friend but that voice says, “Help with the chairs.”

2.  Or we get ready to help put up the chairs and that voice says, “Stop and help a friend.”

3.  Take a few minutes each day to listen.  God will speak to you.

Prayer must include listening to make us strong.