Advent Readings: Listening Prayer

Listening Prayer:  Responding to God’s Messages

When God inaugurated the Messianic era in salvation history, He began by delivering twelve specific divine messages.  As the following Scripture verses will show, God gave His messages in a variety of ways.  Sometimes God’s message was delivered through an angel, sometimes the message came through a dream or vision, sometimes the message came through another person, and sometimes the message was spoken directly by God the Holy Spirit to the individual’s heart as he or she spent time seeking Him in prayer. 

Nine of these divine messages gave clear revelation about the roles and identities of specific people in God’s Eternal Plan.  God was telling His people what He was about to do and through whom He was going to do it. The other two divine messages were for the protection of God's Eternal Plan.  God uses people to carry out and protect His eternal purposes.

Those who received the messages responded in different ways.  Their responses are instructive to us as we pray, seeking God’s direction and His plan for our own lives and for our work in the world.  Through these individuals we see which responses honor God, which are responses of faith and which are responses of unbelief.  Yet, regardless of the response, God’s plan was not thwarted.