As mentioned last time, I write as an amateur on the topic of prayer. These posts are simply “what I know now” (or think I know), nothing more.
I like to think of my walk with God as being punctuated by a series of doorways into rooms of ministry. I’m at the gas station and the clerk is flustered about something, maybe a prior customer. That’s a doorway.
What can I say to her in the name of Jesus?
Perhaps something small — a kind word along with a reassuring smile.
Or maybe this doorway opens into a larger room of opportunity. God may be prompting me to ask her if I can pray for her.
With her permission, then, I will pray right there on the spot. A small risk on my part.
More subtly still, I might simply mention, as I’m taking my gas receipt, that I will be supporting her in prayer the rest of the day.
But how does one know that this is the voice of God prompting, and not simply last night’s chips and salsa doing the talking in my cluttered brain?
I wish I knew the precise answer to that question, but I don’t.
What I do know, however, is that discerning God’s voice takes practice. And it takes a willingness to err on the side of risk and adventure, not the side of safety.
So at my best I am out there obeying what I hear, walking through doorways and the adventures they offer, even if I’m not certain of God’s leading.
At my worst I’m cautious, self-protective, preoccupied with my super-busy life, in and out of the gas station with professional efficiency . . .
. . . too hurried to hear a divine summons.
So did you just make up the Family of God diagram? Is that in a slick printed version that I can just pass it out to people without getting involved? Just kidding here…sort of…one would think that at this advanced age, I would have something that I could fall back on and use…but I don’t. I just fly by the seat of my pants and the prompting of the Spirit…and it’s a whole lot safer if I don’t get involved. It’s just easier to pray for you to do our work. And what a horrible admission that is. I’ll pray to be more willing and obedient.
Dear Laurel, I created the Family of God Diagram because it’s an ultra-flexible tool for sharing the gospel as a whole, or different parts of it — such as Trinity, fall, OT, problem of suffering/evil, the cross, etc.
I’ve used it so many times on campus, hopefully getting the kinks worked out, and I thought it was time to share it here with my readers.
And yes, it still requires that we engage very directly in conversation!
Rick, I’m sure your intent wasn’t to create a sermon series…. But I think you just did
Are we hearing Gods voice, the Holy Spirit’s voice ? Are they interchangeable? Are we to be listening to the HS only? Does anyone other than me ask these questions?
Hi Bob, Thanks for writing.
I do think God’s voice and the voice of the HS are interchangeable. That’s the doctrine of the Trinity in action.