Leadership

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In Christian leadership, there must be open communication between the Lord and us.  We need to hear from Him, and He wants to hear from us.  And He is most eager to hear from us.  The best accurate way to hear from the Lord is to open His Word, the Bible, and listen to what He wants us to hear.  Prayer from a pure heart is the best way for Him to hear from us.

We live in a world full of situations and needs that require us to pray.  Prayer means we are building a relationship with the Lord by communicating with Him.  So, communication is the key.  And that means speaking and listening.  In this case, it means talking to God and Hi listening.  And Him speaking to us and us listening to Him.

It is debilitating to lose our hearing.  Our hearing is one of the primary gates that allow us to know and respond to everything.

The eyes, the nose, the sense of touch, and the mouth all aid us in communicating.  Hearing is foundational.

There are two different levels of hearing.  First, every day we hear thousands of sounds without responding.  Because our minds are conditioned, we tune much of this out.  It’s labeled “background noise.”

Because of selective hearing, “Please take out the trash” is hardly ever heard the first time when our kids or their dads hear that.  And yet, with the slightest whisper, they hear, “Let’s go get ice cream.”

God Hears

Our relationship with God is dependent on hearing.  We must hear Him and listen to Him.

Yet most Christian leaders pay attention to God.  We have permitted the world’s noise to so saturate us that our ears are rarely accustomed to the “still small voice” of God.  Spiritual indifference and rebellion clog our ears.

The Lord is speaking all the time, but we do not hear.  It can be our greatest tragedy.

But our relationship also depends on God’s willingness to hear us when we come to Him.

A one-sided relationship is not possible for a healthy relationship.  It is essential to hear God and to be confident He hears us.

A Prayer of Solomon

When Solomon completed the building of the first temple in Jerusalem, he dedicated it with a prayer pleading for God to hear (1 Kings 8).  The essence of his entire prayer was, “We need You now and will need You; so, God, please HEAR US when we pray!”

Then Solomon detailed when their prayers and God hearing them were most necessary.

“Oh Lord, please hear…”

  • My prayer at this very moment (v. 28)
  • When Your people pray (v. 30)
  • When a person sins against their neighbor and returns in prayer to You (v. 31)
  • When Your people are conquered before an enemy because they sinned against You, and they turn back to You confessing their sin and pray (v. 33)
  • When the heavens are locked up, and no rain comes because we sin; and in prayer, we confess this and return to You (v. 35)
  • When there are calamities like famine, pestilence, plague, or sickness, and we pray (vv. 37-39)
  • When the immigrant comes and prays (vv. 41-43)
  • When we go into battle against our enemies, and we pray (v. 44)
  • When Your people sin against You (for every person does sin) and you become angry delivering us to the enemy, and then we repent and pray (vv. 46-53)

Review through this prayer and notice that almost every human issue is covered.  Solomon simply asks, “Lord, will You hear if we pray?”

Notice that for God to hear each prayer request, they are conditioned on several things.  The people must see the awfulness of their sin, confess it, return to God, and pray.

He will not hear a proud, selfish, or prayer designed to further what a person wants for himself rather than what brings glory to the Lord.  The Lord turns a deaf ear to those who turn a deaf ear to what He says about their sin (Ps 66:18).

Also, the Lord will not hear what is not asked.  “You have not because you ask not,” James 4:2.  Many conditions for effective prayer are mentioned in Scripture.

But, if we will come in humility, forsaking our sin, with the willingness to obey the Lord and approach God in prayer, He has promised to hear us.  How amazing this is!

Our God who hears prayer has all the resources necessary at His disposal to meet our every need.  George Mueller declared how faithful our God is, “He is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God!”

Father, I never cease to be amazed by this truth.  That You would make a way for me to approach You is amazing, considering my sin.  I’m overcome with gratitude for Your Son, Jesus, who lived, died, and rose so that we can now enter and stand before Your throne of grace with peace.  Providing us a way to have an intimate relationship with You as a friend to friend; please forgive me for not praying more often.  Forgive me for not listening.  But thank You, Father, for Your ever-hearing ear!

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Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.