i’ve had a few friends who i’ve talked to recently who have been struggling regarding whether they are hearing from God and if what they’re hearing is true and correct. i gave them some of the things that i pray when asking God for answers and i decided to post them here as well.
when i pray for a serious issue regarding my life (calling, ministry, relationships, school, etc) i ask God to send me the answer in four different ways. the root of it all is being still enough to hear God’s voice, but i ask for these other things so that in the future i will not be able to doubt the Word He gave to me. this is just my method of asking God and is not to be interpreted as requirements of prayer. yet, through years of experience, i have found that God LOVES and enjoys answering each of these four requests. so i hope these four prayers can help your prayer life as they have helped mine. 🙂
- “i ask You to answer me out of the blue“
the very first thing i ask for when i am petitioning God for wisdom or answers regarding a particularly serious issue (calling, ministry, relationships, school, etc) is to NOT tell me the answer right away. i know that when i pray my mind is trying to come up with a solution. there have been many times where i’ve thought i’ve heard the answer only to find out that my own mind/flesh came up with the response. therefore i ask God that when He does answer me, if it pleases Him, that He would answer my question out of the blue, when my mind is thinking about something completely different. it helps me know that my own mind/wisdom didn’t come up with what i “heard”.
- “i ask You to answer me with many verses and chapters of Your Word”
the last thing i want (like mentioned above) is that the answer would rest in my own wisdom and knowledge. my words and opinions mean nothing to God and mean nothing in the reality of my life. the ONLY thing sure and sound is His Word. therefore i ask that when He answers me, He does it by giving me revelation of His Word. God is incredibly good at tying real life questions and answers to scriptures written millenia ago. there are verses that never may of made sense, but God breathes life into the page and it comes alive to my spirit. yet i desire that the answer not be founded in one verse that could possibly be taken out of context, so i ask that God give me a multitude of verses…even chapters proving what He is speaking to me.
an example of this is when i asked God to reveal to me my calling. about 21 days later (out of the blue…lol) He came and gave me the answer and then said “now turn to 2 Kings 2” and for the next 30 minutes He opened to me the scriptures and what it means for my life and the times i am living in. He used other scriptures as well and since that day, my calling has not been rooted in my desires or my wisdom but in the Word and revelation of God.
- “i ask that Your answer is bigger (of a wider view) than my question”
i think one of my greatest setbacks to hearing answers from God is that my response to His answer becomes increasingly limited and self-focused. that is why my third request is that God would answer not only my question, but also show me what He is going to do on the earth during those times. i don’t want to know how His plans fit into my question/answer, i want to know how my question/answer fits into His plans and heart. when God gives me a bigger worldview (regarding His plans and heart) along with the answer, it reminds me that the answer is not about me and my life…but about Him and His plan for His glory. it also helps me (if i do start to doubt His promises) when i look at the worldview and see that His Word has remained true. it encourages me that if He did not lie concerning His global plans that He did not lie regarding my situation. it encourages me that i did not hear wrong, but that my promise is close at hand.
- “i ask for several confirmations”
the last thing i ask for is that when God does answer me and open my eyes to His world and His worldview is to reveal this situation (both question and answer) to people i trust who are bluntly honest with me. many times after hearing an answer i’ll ask those i trust with blunt honesty to pray regarding a situation and after they have done so i will ask them to speak into my life concerning the issue. although this is the last of the requests, i take it very seriously. the Bible stresses that “there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. yet at the same time it is not a thing you should ask just anybody to speak into your life about. i ask the people i am asking to confirm or deny to seriously fast and pray about the situation. i ask them to take as long as they need, many weeks or months if need be. i desire them to be absolutely sure before they speak to me (sidenote: some of those people will do these four steps to be the confirmation for my answer).
when they come and speak to me, no matter what i have heard, i open myself for correction and instruction. although i MUST hear God for myself, opening myself up for correction protects me from being deceived.