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The Other Side Of Prayer

By Pete Macinta

Often when people think about prayer they think about talking to God. Many feel prayer chiefly consists of asking God to do something. While Christ Himself encouraged His disciples to ask (John 16:24), there is an important aspect of prayer often overlooked by many, and is hardly taught in some churches.

That aspect brings out the point that prayer is communication with God -- not just to God. In Exodus 33:11 we read, "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." When we read Genesis, we see this is the type of relationship God had with Adam and Eve.

These passages, and many others, show that prayer is not only talking to God, but it is also hearing from Him.

Jesus Himself told His disciples in Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Essentially the Greek word for watch in this verse means to give strict attention to, be cautious, active; and to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.

The way this is done is by tuning our spirit in with God's Holy Spirit. We give our spirit a tune-up by reading the Holy Bible.

However, the first step is to have Christ dwell within us. When that occurs, we will know the voice of Christ when He speaks to our spirit: John 10:27 -- My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

When I say voice, I do not mean an audible voice, although that most certainly does occur. What most often occurs is that the true Christian senses urgings from God upon his mind and conscience.

Years ago I heard a story about George Mueller, a true Christian that lived in Great Britain in the 1800's. Orphaned children were often used like slaves in the factories, and lived wherever they could -- under bridges, in boxes, in the woods.

As brother Mueller brought this need before God, He sensed God telling him, "You do something about it." Brother Mueller replied he had no money or anything else. However, as Brother Mueller obeyed God step by step, money and supplies came in. He soon had an orphanage.

You may feel that God will not speak with you. Examine the Bible and you will see that He speaks to a variety of people, whether they be righteous or a sinner.

If you are a true Christian, ask Him how he wants you to reach out to the lost each day. Not only that, we are to be continually in prayer: "Pray without ceasing," -- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 No matter where we are or what we are doing we should be in communication with God. He may tell you to do a specific thing at work, home or school. You might wonder if it is God speaking to you. Keep in mind He will never contradict His written Word.

There are times we may get our emotions confused with those of God's leadings. When we make an error, He will forgive us if we sincerely ask Him.

Remember, He wants to speak to you. Take the time today to talk with Him.

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