Flames of Truth Ministries
Monday, October 23, 2017

Open Up Communication

Communication is essential to any relationship.  It is top priority in a relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  Before you can even think about developing a relationship with God you must understand the necessity to communicate with Him.
According to Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2004), prayer is defined as "dialogue between God and people, especially His covenant partners.  Modern believers must cherish communion with the Father (God Jehovah) MORE than their petitions."  In other words, when we come to God in prayer, we must cherish the fact that a Holy God desires communication with us.  We must cherish the fact that a Holy God allows communication with us.  This must be overwhelmingly more important than anything we could ever ask.
The first prayers (communication with God) is recorded in Genesis 3:8-9
          And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  Then the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"
     When Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves because of the shame and guilt of sin, God still loved them enough to come and look for them.  He desires communication with us.  He desires to hear from us.
     Genesis 4: 26 tells us "And to Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh.  THEN men began to call upon the name of the Lord."
     After the original sin of Adam and Eve and the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, we find a new Godly lineage begin through Seth.  In this new lineage men began to call upon the name of the Lord, to seek Him, to want to know Him, to desire a relationship with Him, to become the children He wanted them to be.
Nearly 50 lengthy prayers are recorded in prose sections and several hundred shorter prayers or references to praying are found in the Bible.  The writers were far more interested in showing people at prayer than in telling about prayer. (Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (1998))  God's Word shows us people in the act of prayer as examples, not to follow their words but their actions.
Practice this action right now.  Stop reading about prayer and pray.  Nothing fancy, no magic words, no secret formula - just talk to God.  Ask Him to help you understand His Word.  Ask Him to give you wisdom and understanding that you have never had before. 
I Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.' "
     When you stop to pray, it doesn't matter if you are sitting, standing, kneeling, lying down or what your posture is during prayer.  What matters to God is what is on your heart.  He doesn't need to know what is on your mind; He knows what is on your heart.  He wants to hear you tell Him what is on your heart.  He is wise enough, strong enough, powerful enough and compassionate enough to handle whatever you tell Him.  He will take all of your emotions and mixed up feelings and broken thoughts and wrap them in His love, and mercy and grace, and lead and guide you on a journey that will lead to lasting joy and peace. You cannot find this joy and peace in any other place or form - only through Jesus Christ the Lord Jehovah God.
Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that had a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?
     God is there 24/7 wherever we are ready to hear us.  We don't have to wait in line or be put on hold.  Jehovah God is omnipresent - always present, always listening, always caring.  Does He give us everything we want?  No, because He is wiser than us and knows there are things we don't need.  He also knows that sometimes trials are necessary to bring about greater good and to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ.  We can compare this to a parent and a child when the child asks for candy just before a meal or instead of a meal.  The child sees that the candy is good and would be a good reward or gift.  The parent however sees that the candy will prevent the child from eating nutritious food during meal time and the parent knows that the nutritious food is necessary for healthy development as the child grows.  Thus the parent does not grant the child's request.  Another parent/child analogy would be if a young child was going to stick an object into an electrical outlet.  The parent can spank the child's hand stopping him from placing the object in the outlet.  The parent caused the child pain for a brief period but only to prevent the child from suffering a greater pain.  In the same way there are times when God says that is not what we need or He allows us to go through a trial to help us come to a greater understanding of who He is or of His greater purpose.  Just because He says NO doesn't mean He didn't listen to us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
     In this verse we see several if/then statements.  Let's follow each one.
          1.  IF MY people who are called by My name humble themselves
          2.  IF My people pray
          3.  IF My people seek my face
          4.  IF My people turn from their wicked ways
          THEN - I will hear from heaven
          THEN - I will forgive their sin
          THEN - I will heal their land.
               What do we do?  Pray - Seek - Turn, THEN He will Hear, Forgive, and Heal
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
     This is another promise that He is near to those who call upon Him in truth.  What does that mean to call upon Him in truth?  It has to be about God being LORD not being our butler whom we summons to complete a task for us and then dismiss Him until we need Him again.  We must call upon Him through the truth of His Holy Word.  Opening our heart not just for Him to hear us but to allow Him to heal and change us.
 1 Timothy 2:8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
     God desires everyone to pray and put aside wrath and dissension.  When we surrender completely to Him, He will take care of all of our cares and concerns.  If we focus on Him and His glory all other relationships and possessions become less important in the light of knowing Him.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18  Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
     Do we rejoice in trials and pain and anguish?  Do we give thanks that we are going through terrible trials?  We can give thanks only if we know that God is using all things, including pain and trials, to bring about His purpose and to make us stronger.  Praying without ceasing means to stay in constant communication with God.  He is our navigator, our GPS, our traffic controller who guides us through every situation in life and keeps us on the road that leads to Him.  If we don't communicate at all times, we will make a wrong turn and failure to communicate can lead to failure to return to the road God has planned for us.
Psalm 86 is a precious picture of a child of God crying out to Him.
      A Psalm of Supplication and Trust           A Prayer of David.
 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me;
For I am afflicted and needy.
2 Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
For to You I cry all day long.
4 Make glad the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!
7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.
8 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.
9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
 Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
13 For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,
And a band of violent men have sought my life,
And they have not set You before them.
15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
.16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me;
Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your handmaid.
17 Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Romans 8:26-27 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
     Even when we don't know what to say or how to pray, but we have the desire to know God and to build a personal relationship with Him, the Spirit of God intercedes with us in a deeper way than we can even imagine.
Stop now and pour out your heart to God.  Call upon Him and let Him know that you desire to communicate with Him.  Before you continue with the lessons, begin building a time each day where you turn off the phones, turn off the TV and the iPods or radios.  Find a still and quiet place if only for a few minutes and simply cry out to God.  As you move through the Bible study you will learn more about communication with a Holy God.  Don't give up because Jehovah God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will never give up on you.