Shhhhhhhh…. Hear That?
AM I LISTENING TO GOD?
“Did you hear that? No, I’m serious, did you hear that? Often times we wonder if we are really hearing the voice of the Lord. I often wonder if I am truly listening – even though God has given me some incredible lessons in this area!
When I was a very young minister, (I was young once, you know.) God gave me a dream three nights in a row. It involved a dear friend of mine’s daughter. There was a horrific, bloody accident. In the dream, God told me to warn the family to keep her away from equipment. They lived on a farm and had all types of machinery on the property. My friend knew me well and knew I would never say anything lightly. She heeded what I said and tried to keep her daughter away from any and all equipment. Her daughter snuck out and decided to play a trick on her dad. She decided she would run along side this huge tractor like machine and jump up in the seat with him. Right at that time God instructed me to pray-I didn’t know what was happening, but I began to intercede. He also instructed a friend of ours to not only pray but to get in his truck and go to a certain field. Right as he got there, the accident happened. When she had jumped, she missed – snapping her leg in two and landing her head under the front wheel of a several thousand pound machine. The soil was soft, so she sunk in, but she was still gravely injured. She was immediately life-flighted to a hospital in San Francisco. I knew none of this, but I knew I was to pray. It was several hours before the Lord lifted my burden of prayer. That’s when I got the call: My friend sobbed out, “Joanie, God gave you a dream, God had Tim come to the field – she’s gonna make it, isn’t she?” I told him that God had also instructed me to pray and that I would get all our churches and friends praying. I also assured him that we served a mighty God who was and is our healer. I’d be less than honest if I said it wasn’t a long haul, but she did pull through. I went to the hospital about three weeks after the accident, she was in critical care and barely recognizable. I brought her a fake ice cream cone that had a latch that when pushed would cause the top part to pop off and hit whoever was looking at it-this kid had an amazing sense of humor and I hoped this would make her laugh. As I stood there, one of her specialists came in. She put on her most pathetic look…. “Come heeerrrre, look what my Aunt Joanie brought me.” He leaned in close and got it right in the face. She giggled. That’s when I knew she would be okay. Her sense of humor was still intact. Fast forwarding about fourteen years… she graduated with honors from a university and has gone on to start and run several businesses. We serve a great and mighty God!
James 5:16b “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I believe in the power of prayer; and I believe God will call us to pray! My question is, “Are we listening?” There have been times I have received calls from people who barely knew me – yet God called them to pray. I thank God that they not only listened, but obeyed. As I said before, there is incredible power in prayer – through prayer mountains are moved and scripture is quite clear that we are to “pray without ceasing“. I Thess. 5:17. I also believe God will lay people and situations on our hearts to pray. We need to be faithful to do it. BUT…. the enemy of our soul does not want us to pray. He will use tools like distraction, doubt, and our own self absorption to keep us from prayer. We often say that we want to be used by God and sometimes just don’t know how. This is a very important way God can and will use us, but we have to be listening. I love what John Wesley said: “Prayer is where the action is.” I love being where the God-Action is….. every day! And the only way I know to be there is to listen so He can guide my every step. Since that is the case, I think my first prayer should be, “Lord, teach me to listen!”