Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him.
When we pray, what sorts of things does God want to talk to us about? We know that prayer is a primary channel for discovering the will of God, so exactly what part of His will does God communicate to us through prayer? Let me mention three things God communicates to us in prayer.
First, God communicates His direction through prayer. Now, I confess that too often, prayer for me is a last resort instead of a first response. I’ll face a dilemma and my first instinct is to call somebody to talk the problem over with. Or I’ll make a list of the pros and cons of a particular decision. I do everything except pray. But the Word of God says that when we are facing a dilemma or problem, prayer ought to be our first response, not our last resort. Do you spend even five minutes a day asking God to show you His will? All of us Christians would do well to take that question to heart. Praying for God to communicate His direction to us is a daily responsibility for which all Christians must make time.
Second, God communicates His peace through prayer. When the apostle Paul was in prison, he had a number of things he could have chosen to worry about. He could have worried whether he’d ever be released, whether he was going to live or die. He could have worried about the church in Philippi that was being torn in two. But instead, look at Philippians 4:6. He said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. And what will happen? “The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (v. 7). The Bible says if we will simply pray instead of worry, the peace of God will flood our hearts. God communicates His peace to us when we pray.
Third, God communicates to us His desires when we pray. When we pray, sometimes we talk to God about the things we’re concerned about. But every now and then, God has some concerns He wants to talk to us about. And that’s why prayer is important.
Prayer is not only a time for us to talk to God, but also a time for us to listen to God about the things He is concerned about in our lives. In Genesis 17, we see a great illustration of this. The story of Abraham includes some exciting events: His call out of Ur. His successful battle against the kings of the east. His night of forbidden pleasure with Hagar. The near death of his son Isaac. A wedding. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Well, in Genesis 17, God did something significant in Abraham’s life: “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly’” (vv. 1–2). Now, the next verse is the key: “Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him” (v. 3). It doesn’t say that Abram fell on his face and began speaking to God. No, it says God began to speak to him. Let me ask you a question: When is there in your daily schedule a time for you to listen to God? Not to just pour out, “God, give me this, do this, do this, do this.” But for you to listen to what God wants to say to you?
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The God Who Speaks” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.