Global Day of Prayer and Fasting: 4th Sep 2023
Prayer is a two-way conversation. As I say in my book Intimacy, Intercession and Increase, it would be pretty boring if only one person in a relationship did all the talking (2nd edition, page 23). Most of us are comfortable with speaking to God, pouring our hearts out to Him, presenting our requests, giving thanks and worship. But sometimes it can be a challenge to listen to Him. Most of this challenge probably comes from the fact that we can’t visibly see God. Another challenge is that we don’t actually know what He sounds like and if we are hearing right. It takes time to cultivate knowing what He sounds like. If we aren’t stopping regularly to intentionally cultivate listening to God, then it is more difficult.
The third aspect is our willingness to obey when we do hear Him. Like the children of Israel in the Old Testament, we may want the blessing of God, but when it comes to following Him we can become stubborn and want to follow our own counsel (see Jeremiah 7:23-28). John 10 says Jesus is the good shepherd and His sheep hear His voice. He is good and trustworthy and you can be sure following His voice in obedience will only lead to good things in His kingdom. It may be scary following His voice, and it may cost us something in the earthly sense, but He is always with us, and knows the best way to go.
So this month as we come before His throne of grace to present our requests for young people, join me in creating intentional time to listen to His still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12-13).
Next month we will explore more about how God speaks to us, so stay tuned.
International Prayer Director
Some suggestions for this month’s Global Day of Prayer and Fasting
Read through John 10:1-18 twice. What stood out to you as you read? What does it tell us about Jesus? What does it tell us about the Father? What does it tell us about people? Is there a command to obey or an example to follow?
You may like to join in with this song.
Reflect: How are you at intentionally seeking God to listen to Him? What obstacles might be in the way for you? How can you overcome these obstacles?
Reflect: Obedience can be scary. Reflect on one of the hardest acts of obedience you have done in your walk with Jesus. How did things turn out as you obeyed?
Spend some time with a Gospel Contemplation activity, such as the one below. This is a great tool to help cultivate listening to God.
Here is a prayerful and imaginative way of reading and reflecting on Scripture.
Choose a passage from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) where Jesus is interacting with others. (Matthew 9:18-26 may be helpful if you don’t know what to pick.)
Ask God to be present and speak to you through His Word.
Read through the selected passage at least twice, until the story becomes familiar.
Close your eyes and imagine the scene. Engage it with all your senses. What do you see? Smell? Hear? Touch? Taste?
Focus on Jesus. What is He doing? What is He saying? How is He interacting with others?
Focus on the crowd. How are they reacting to Jesus? What are they saying? What emotions are they feeling?
Focus on yourself. Where are you in the scene? How is Jesus interacting with you? How are you responding?
Close with prayer. Spend some time talking to God about what you experienced through the story.
Before you intercede for young people today, practice listening to God by asking Him, “Who do you want me to pray for today? What is it you want me to pray for them?” Write down what comes to mind and pray accordingly.
As you are praying for more harvest workers today, ask, “Lord, where is the greatest need for harvest workers today? How do you want me to pray into this today?” Write down what comes to mind and pray accordingly. Keep an eye out for how He answers in the coming months.