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Help Me to Communicate!

Day 14: First Things First

A popular story is told to illustrate how we sometimes navigate prayer. The story is of a man who found himself in the middle of the ocean after his boat sank. He called out to God in Prayer and asked God to save him and soon a log floated past him and he watched it float past as he called out still in prayer for God to save him, a boat then came by and offered help but he declined and said "

don't worry about me, God will save me!" Some hours later a helicopter came by and again he said he was waiting for God to save him - As the story goes then eventually drowns. As he gets into heaven after his death he heads to God's throne room to get some answers. He asks God why He did not save him when he prayed. He is then told that God had answered his prayer by first sending him a log to hold on to and keep him afloat, then God sent a boat and a helicopter but somehow the man had declined the help offered. The man's heart sank as he realised he had lived most of his life not realising how God answered prayer.


While the story is just for illustration purposes, It does ring true of how we sometimes miss God speaking to us or sending his answers to us after we have prayed. The opposite of what the man did could also be true that we pray and immediately jump onto the first solution that comes our way simply because we think God must have answered our prayer. Not all solutions that come our way are Godly solutions. How then do we navigate knowing God's answers and hearing God's voice?


The answer to that question is that we first must realise that Prayer is communication with God. Many of us treat Prayer like a One way radio where we send our messages out into space but with no capability to received a message back from God to say that he has heard us or to respond to us regarding our Prayers. Communication is two ways, and so if prayer is communication with God there is a response we must expect and receive.


Knowing that God speaks in response to our prayers is key because it helps us to wait in prayer - Often we are so consumed with just throwing our requests at God we leave the prayer room flustered and rushing off without having waited to hear what God is saying about the prayers we have prayed. I have had to lear to not be in a rush when I pray but to take time to hearing God as I pray. I now am intentional about stopping and listening to God when I pray so that I do not treat God as a device that receives instructions to do my bidding and silently does my bidding without communicating back to me.


Sometimes the response to our Prayers is Yes, sometimes it is no, other times God says wait and often times the response is broader or seemingly unrelated to our prayers as God steers us away from the symptoms we are busy trying to patch up with our prayers and instead He takes us towards the conversation of addressing the root causes of what will actually lead us to a healthy response to what our needs are as expressed in our prayers.


We can also be hindered from hearing God speaking because we have our own religious way of thinking or expecting God to act or respond, just like the man who refused help from the boat or the helicopter. Our own view or expectation of what help from God looks like can be a hinderance to actually engaging with God's response to our prayers.


As we begin a new year we usually have resolutions or goals and dreams that we would like to see fulfilled. I hear many people say I hope that this is the year when my dreams will be accomplished as they grapple with unfulfilled hopes and dreams from the previous year. The truth is that many of us miss out on the journey of fulfilled dreams because we are busy pursing the dreams we prayed for without also engaging with the God whom we are supposedly trusting to come through for us in those dreams.


As a Church every year we have our dream Sunday, where we bring before God our Dreams, our Plans and our hopes for the year. Dream Sunday is specifically located in the beginning of the third week of our prayer and fasting week because we believe that as we put God First we are better positioned to making plans and entrusting God with dreams that are on God's agenda and aligned with his will. As we discovered in our previous devotion this week, when we pray according to God's will God hears us and he answers.



Today at all our locations (Camps Bay, Melkbos and Table View) is DREAM SUNDAY, It is a time to engage with God in a way that brings us Hope and gears us up to Dream with God and walk the journey of faith with him. I Look forward to hearing all the awesome testimonies of what will be borne out of our Dream Sunday services.


Scriptures to reflect on:

'Now I’ll listen carefully for your voice and wait to hear whatever you say. Let me hear your promise of peace— the message every one of your godly lovers longs to hear. Don’t let us in our ignorance turn back from following you.'


'Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God, and you will dwell in the land, feasting on his faithfulness. Find your delight and true pleasure in Yahweh, and he will give you what you desire the most.'


'Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.'

'May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers. '


PRAYER:


Lord I thank you that you desire to give me what is good and perfect as my gift. I confess that am often blinded by my own selfish ambition and desires that take my heart away from you but yet still frame an expectation of you to answer my selfish desires in a way that is not who you are or what you promise in your word. So Lord God today I pray that you would help me to fully be present with you in my time of prayer and fasting, I repent of of my selfishness and pray that your would Help me to see and understand that what you have for me is eternal and blessed so that i can walk with you always.

I pray that this time of fasting will result in my self-rule decreasing as I allow your will to be ever more accepted and sought after by me at every turn of my life. Thank you that I can dream with you and that you will walk with me the journey of full-filled hopes and dreams as I choose to do life with you. Help me to learn to hear your voice and to recognise your ways as I grow in prayer and worship so I will not miss you when you move in my life and when you send me help from above. Thank you heavenly Father for your loving kindness. Amen

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