Are you waiting on an answer to prayer? Is there a particular situation pending in your life — one for which you need a response from the Lord? Could there be a missing step that might help you in listening for His answer?
We know God promises to answer us. But sometimes His response seems to be delayed — or our ability to hear Him seems impaired. Seeking the Lord and hearing His answer is one of the most common challenges in the Christian life.
So — if you are struggling in this area, you and I are in good company. My hope is that the practical suggestions and steps in this month’s letter will encourage you.
God’s Promise to Answer
A number of years ago, I began a study of a biblical principle that has provided great encouragement to me. The process began with an inspiration from the Lord to dig in to Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” From an initial study of this verse, I began a search through the Word of God for the phrase, “Call to Me.” What I discovered is one of the most encouraging truths I know. In almost every case, when God commands us to call to Him, the very next words that follow are these: “And I will answer you.”
It would be hard to find a more uplifting message for life than that. We call; God answers. He not only encourages us to call out to Him, but He also promises that when we do so, He won’t leave us hanging. He will answer us.
You and I both know that it doesn’t always work out as easily as we would like. Sometimes receiving a response from the Lord is more involved than we had anticipated. Often it requires climbing some mountains and walking through some valleys on the way to the answer He provides. But that doesn’t change His promise. He answers when we call — and that is one of the most encouraging truths of the Christian life.
With All Your Heart
Just to add more light to the subject, I was recently reminded of another verse from Jeremiah that brought a practical aspect to this process of hearing God’s answer. This great truth appears in chapter 29, verse 13: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when You search for Me with all your heart.” Amazingly, this instruction to seek with all our hearts is sandwiched between two additional promises that God will respond. In verse 12, the Lord says, “I will listen to you.” And in verse 14, He says, “I will be found by you.”
The promise remains the same. The Lord will answer us. What is the condition for those promised responses? We find it in the phrase — “when you search for Me with all your heart.” What does “searching for Him with all my heart” look like? What factors are involved in that pursuit?
Be Still and Know
Actually there are many factors involved in calling to the Lord and receiving an answer from Him — too many, in fact, to deal with in this letter. But as I reflected on the questions above, one factor bubbled up to the top: listening for His answer. It’s probably one of the most elementary aspects of our relationship with the Lord — and one of the toughest to accomplish.
Think for a minute about a normal day in your life. How often do you have opportunities to just sit quietly without any interruptions? The cell phone is constantly ringing, the music is blaring over the restaurant speakers, someone is texting you, bumper-to-bumper traffic is demanding your full attention. Rather than moments of peace and quiet, our lives are packed with obligations and noisy interruptions that exclude any hope of solitude and quiet reflection. When was the last time your life was quiet enough to hear God’s answer to your questions? Under normal circumstances, it just doesn’t happen.
Then we read God’s direction in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” The Hebrew word for “Be still” is raphah, meaning “to sink, relax, let drop, abate, withdraw.” For you and me, that simply doesn’t happen naturally. We would have to be intentional about those kinds of actions. We would have to actively carve out times of quiet, peace and solitude — radical departures from our normal, hectic lifestyle.
Maybe this is what the Lord means by that phrase, “when you search for Me with all your heart.”
A consistent teaching by Derek Prince on this topic contains his definition of what is required for us to truly hear the voice of the Lord. It revolves around Derek’s explanation of a Hebrew phrase requiring us to “listen listening,” as he points out so clearly in the following excerpt from a message entitled, “The Promises.”
Let’s go back to Deuteronomy 28:1: “It shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God…” The Hebrew says, “If you will listen, listening.” Do you know what that means? Listen with both ears.
God showed me all this when I lay sick in the hospital and I was seeking healing. I said, “What does it mean to listen, listening?” He said, “You’ve got a right ear and a left ear. To listen, listening means to listen to Me with your right ear and your left.”
Then I saw how many people listen to God with the right ear and the devil with the left. What do they end up with? Confusion. Because they’ve got two different influences coming from two different sources and meeting inside them.
Then God says in verse 2: “All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee…” You know, it’s beautiful to be overtaken by the blessings of the Lord, isn’t it? Some people run after them — but I like to live the kind of life where the blessings run after me.
Carve Out the Time
Wouldn’t the start of a new year be the perfect time to put a plan in place for hearing from the Lord and receiving what He wants to give us?
Right now, you and I could make the commitment to carve out regular times to be still and listen for His voice. Would you like to take that step while it is fresh in your mind? Let’s do it together with the following prayer.
Lord, I want to hear Your answers to me! Please forgive me for the way I have allowed the frenzy and noise of life to keep me from times with You. I want to be still and know You better. I want to hear Your voice. My desire is to seek You and search for You with all my heart. Please instruct me how to do that more effectively.
Father, I make the commitment now to dedicate regular times in the year ahead to sit and reflect with You. I know You will speak to me — sometimes directly, sometimes through reminders from Your Word, and sometimes through my brothers and sisters who are hearing from You as well.
I open myself up to You in this moment. I will do my part by carving out quiet times for sitting silently in Your presence, waiting to hear Your voice.
I want to thank You in advance for what You will say to me during those times. Most of all, I thank You that this commitment to listen to You will deepen our relationship with one another.
I want to find You, Lord, in every aspect of my life — my family, my work, my relationship with You. So with this prayer, I pledge myself to seek You and search for You with all my heart.
Hearing His Voice
As far as you can remember, have you ever prayed a prayer like that before? If so, you have done it again at the beginning of a new year, taking a fresh step to renew that practice. If, on the other hand, this is the first time you have made this commitment, we congratulate you on the life-changing action you have just taken. As you follow through with your intention to take special times to listen to the Lord’s voice, you can be sure He will speak to you. The Lord has pledged Himself to answer you when you call to Him. You can rely upon Him to make good on that promise.
We are standing with you as well in the process you have just begun. Remember, we voiced the prayer above together. One aspect of our support for your decision is to supply you with solid, reliable teaching from Derek Prince. These materials will strengthen your relationship with the Lord, helping you to understand how to seek Him and hear Him better. In that regard, we want to offer the full message, “The Promises,” from which we drew the excerpt from Derek Prince’s teaching in a free mp3 download by clicking here.
What Derek has shared in this full teaching will greatly encourage you, and that really is our primary goal as well. You have stood with us in the work of Derek Prince Ministries, enabling us to bless the lives of so many, and this is one way for us to stand with you. We simply can’t thank you enough for your prayers and financial support. By your commitment to help, you have become a treasured partner in all that we do here at DPM.
The Year Ahead
The year ahead should prove to be full of promise and opportunity. Already, as we have been closing out 2014 and preparing to move into 2015, the Lord has been speaking to us prophetically about expanding our work and exploring new opportunities before us. As an organization, we must do exactly what you have committed to do in this letter. All of us involved with DPM worldwide will need to take times corporately to get quiet in the presence of the Lord — listening for His answer, and responding to His direction.
Now it’s time for you and I to get quiet enough and still enough to hear the Lord speak to us.
As this new year begins, will we carve out time to get quiet before Him and hear His voice? A good first step will be to begin the year by calling out to the Lord. Then, our next priority — signifying our desire to search for Him with all our hearts — will be listening for His answer!
All the best,
P.S. We are so grateful for your partnership with us. Please let us know of any way we may be of further service to you. And don’t forget to download this month’s free offer of Derek Prince’s message: “The Promises” by clicking here.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.