NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Brad Jersak created a Youtube channel that includes a series of teachings on listening prayer.
Clicking HERE to link to the site.
Listening Prayer's Biblical Foundation by Brad Jersak
by Brad Jersak
Is there a biblical foundation for listening prayer? Can You Hear Me? by Brad Jersak, was written to map out, apply and testify to the Scriptural promise that God's sheep hear His voice. That book gives readers the biblical, historical and practical foundations for listening prayer.
I believe there is a biblical and especially a New Covenant expectation for listening prayer, but the Bible never demands that we proof-text every kind of experience of hearing God. Christian skeptics who demand biblical proof often negate the texts offered in any case. Nevertheless, those who are open to hearing what the Bible says about listening prayer can start here:
1. Look up the many biblical promises that God speaks to his people. They describe conversations with God, as inherent within the New Covenant. In other words, God promises to speak to every believer by his indwelling Spirit on the basis of Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension and the outpouring of his Spirit. Cf. Jer. 33:1-3, John 10:1-5; John 16:12-16; and Rev. 3:20. These and oodles of other passages offer, model and command us to listen to the voice of God.
2. Check out the passages promising and commanding believers to see or behold God with their spiritual eyes. The Bible treats ‘beholding’ or gazing on God as a primary way to spiritual transformation (2 Cor. 3:16-4:6). I start with a word study of verbs like 'Behold' and 'Lo,’ which usually mean, 'LOOK -- especially upon Jesus -- on purpose with the eyes of your soul.' Beholding God glory in the face of Christ is described in John 14, John 16 ('see'), Eph. 1 ('eyes' of your hearts), Heb. 12:1-2 (fixing your eyes on Jesus), or Col. 3:1-3 (set your 'minds' on things above where Christ is). In Rev. 3:18ff, we are counselled to ‘get eye salve.' Why? 'So that you can see.’ Then right away, Christ beckons: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ John obeys, 'So I looked, and there was a door…' where he is invited to ‘behold the throne and the one sitting on it.’ (Rev. 4:1-2).
3. If the Bible can convince us to give ourselves to hearing and seeing Christ with our spiritual eyes and ears, the follow-up query is ‘where?’ We find him within our hearts. We have the privilege of prayer that is an ongoing conversation with the living Lord Jesus. Our hearts are the 'tent of meeting' where we commune with the King of Glory. For example, Bible authors call us to God's throne of grace, in our hearts: Dan. 7, Col. 3, Eph 1, Heb. 12 and Rev. 3. These are descriptions of the heavenly throne room, but the meeting is actually happening within our hearts or minds. See also the passages about ‘seeing’ Jesus at the Cross (Zech. 12, Heb. 12:1ff).
King David's form of Listening Prayer: Psalm 23.
In Psalm 23, David practices listening prayer and interaction: He follows the Good Shepherd in contemplation, watching and listening in a variety of contexts: lush pastures, still waters, righteous paths, desolate valleys, sumptuous banquets, and the House of God. We could copy David by visiting these places in meditation, but we can do better than that: we ought to emulate David’s prayer practice by establishing our own in-heart meeting places. God shows us places within that feel familiar and safe, just David experienced them, but specific to our own needs.
Listening Prayer for healing wounded souls
4. Once we've heard and seen the gentle Shepherd in our personal heart places, then what? The Lord wants also to enter the places in my soul that are broken ... memories where I carry a burden of pain, shame, or anger. We can ask what our own ‘valley of the shadow of death’ looks like? When Jesus promised, 'Lo, I am with you always,' we know this: a. ‘Lo’ means look. See with the eyes of your heart; b. ‘Always’ means ‘always has been and always will be’; c. ‘Always’ includes the painful parts; d. He commands me to look for ('Lo') Jesus there. How? We simply ask: 'Jesus, where were you? Show me: what do I need to know there? What is it you would to do for me there?’
5. The what, the why and the how of God’s work in our wounded places is also found in the Bible. I look to such prophetic passages as Isaiah 53 (he forgives sin and removes grief), Isaiah 61 (he lifts burdens and grants gifts). God speaks liberating truth into our lies. Jesus said, ‘the truth will set you free’ (Jn. 8:32), and frees us from all kinds of bondage (Isa. 58:6-7). In Luke 4:18-21, we see the ministry of Jesus which he later commissions us to perform: ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you’ (John 20:21).
6. Even without any of these biblical promises or commands, we still have the Last Supper discourse of John 14-17 where Jesus is very clear: the Holy Spirit will counsel, guide, speak to, and lead his disciples (including us) into all truth. I am very grateful for God’s written word, but in that very Word, Jesus' promises never talk about the Bible's guidance or instruction! It testifies to Jesus’ guidance through the Holy Spirit to the Church. The Bible talks a lot about inner healing, but that isn't where we discovered it. The Spirit showed us the way when we stepped out and followed Jesus into it. Why do we believe that it was God's Spirit? Again, Jesus gives us our biblical basis: