In this series of posts, we are considering the “hearing aids” in prayer we have received from God. We want to hear Him and understand what He is speaking, especially in our times of prayer. But, so often we just don’t get it without ears opened to God’s voice. So, to answer the cry of our hearts, God helps us by giving us spiritual hearing aids.
Today, we are considering the hearing aids that interact specifically with our earthly sojourn as followers of Christ. We are calling them the Spiritual Hearing Aids for Everyday Living.
The five spiritual Hearing Aids for Everyday Living are the following:
- Love for Christ alone
- Freedom in forgiveness
- Reasons to be thankful
- Readiness to obey
First Spiritual Hearing Aid for Everyday Living: FAITH
― faith that trusts and anticipates good; belief in God that moves us to give up keeping our distance and move as close as possible…
We have had the joy of caring for our daughter’s dog while she and her husband are away on a trip. The dog’s name is Bella.
Earlier this week I was careless and left the back gate unlatched while I was taking the garbage out. Bella found that gate and ran away.
After an hour of looking for her and asking every person out on the street if they had seen her, I asked Julia to join me in the car so that there would be an extra pair of eyes. We prayed together that we would find her and set off looking. Coming up the hill from Castleton on Green Ave we spotted her in a backyard about four blocks from our house. have pulling over quickly, I grabbed the box of treats that I had with me and ran down the sidewalk to where I could see her, and she could see me. I called to her, rattled the box of treats, and waited. I didn’t have to wait but a split second and she came running. Oh, the joy!
I believe Bella came immediately to me when I called, rather than running away, because she trusted me and anticipated that she’d get some lovin’ from me. How I wish I were more like Bella when God calls to me and asks me to join him in prayer – trusting him, anticipating some lovin’ from him.
Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”John 5:30-46
How can we hear anything God says if we don’t believe he is speaking? How can we accept what he is saying without being in agreement with him that his power alone is the power that saves, and his purpose and plan alone are best?
Whatever else having “ears to hear” means in the Scripture, it certainly means that we take God at his word and believe him.
Hardness of heart toward God and running from him back to our own way looking at things and trusting in the same old stuff of this world keeps us from hearing.
Faith is a hearing aid of, and for everyday living. If we want to know what God is saying, we must believe him.
Second Hearing Aid for Everyday Living: LOVE for Christ
― love for Christ alone (singular focus)
John the Baptizer asked, ““Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”Matthew 11:2-3
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”John 10:27
When we pray, who are we looking up to, or focused on? …Ourselves? …Those problems or people we struggle with? Surely not on some false god created by our deluded and broken world!
One of the unique things about my hearing aids is the directional help they give. With an app on my phone, I can tell it to focus behind me, to either side, or to narrow down on one person in front of me. But I must be very intentional about it.
Without the app, the hearing aids measure everything coming in and do the best they can to automatically adjust to sounds. For instance, my future as a sound tech at our church is in jeopardy because my hearing aids automatically tune out the highest pitched feedback sounds that many find very annoying.
So, to focus the hearing aid, I must reach for my phone, power up the app and make sure it’s connected via Bluetooth to my hearing aids. When everything is working, then I can tell my hearing aids to focus in on the subject I have in mind, behind me, on either side, or directly in front of me.
Focusing on Jesus in my prayers also takes intentionality.
The world around me is constantly pressuring me to generalize my prayers and make them acceptable to everyone. Praying in Jesus’ name can be detrimental to one’s social health, if you know what I mean.
The Scriptures clearly teach that the Christian who prays in Jesus’ name to the eternal, living God revealed in the Scriptures, is the one who receives everything good the Father has in store for him or her.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him…”Psalm 91:14-15
“I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”Isaiah 42:8, cf. Malachi 1:10-12
Jesus: “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”Matthew 18:19-20
Jesus: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”John 14:12-14
Jesus: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”John 15:15-16
Jesus: “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”John 16:23-33
“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”Ephesians 6:23-24
Jesus: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”Revelation 3:19-20
This reminds me of a Vacation Bible School we were hosting at New Hope Church in Winston, Oregon several years ago. One of our marvelous teachers was Jeannie, and she had a squirrely bunch of 1st graders in front of her as she was trying to teach them a song. One young fella in particular named Jacob just could not pay attention to what she was saying and became the center of the classes attention. Jeannie wisely stood in front of him and said firmly and rather loudly, “Jacob,” and waited. It was silent, for all the 1st graders were now expecting the worst for Jacob, and in that sudden silence, Jacob finally looked at her. “Jacob, I want you to get a grip with both hands on that chair you’re sitting on, and not let go until we’re done here.” I’m not sure what Jacob heard in her tone, but he didn’t let go of that chair until the session was over. He heard his beloved teacher when he could finally focus on her with the help of his chair.
In prayer we focus on Christ, and then we begin to hear clearly what God has to say.
POSTS IN THIS 2021 SUMMER SESSION OF THE HUDSON VALLEY SCHOOL OF PRAYER:
- “4.1: If Anyone Has Ears to Hear“
- “4.2: Awe (Fear) of God“
- “4.3: Fullness of the Holy Spirit (Presence)”
- “4.4: Spiritual Hearing Aids for Everyday Living, Part One (by faith loving Christ)“
- “4.5: Spiritual Hearing Aids for Everyday Living, Part Two (forgiveness)“
- “4.6 Spiritual Hearing Aids for Everyday Living, Part Three (grateful obedience)“