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Tag: grace

Can God Hear Your Voice?

Here are some simple ways you can improve your prayer life.

Written by Colin Millar on 12/02/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: PrayerRelationshipsSalvationThankfulness


Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16

Recently I was driving while listening to a College Student Prayer Conference Call over the speaker in my car. My youngest son, Chris, leads this Tuesday night of “College Worship with a Message” and for most of the time, it turns into 45 minutes of prayer. I’ve heard Chris pray many times before, but on this night when I heard his voice, three things happened at the same moment! 

  1. Tears of joy sprung forth from my eyes.
  2. I heard the voice of our Heavenly Father over my own voice saying: “That's my son!”
  3. God gave me inexplicable joy. The same joy in our Father experiences when we, His children cry out loud to Him in prayer. This joy felt like a drumbeat of rolling thunder through my heart, mind, and soul. 

Let’s pause and pray out loud:  

“Father, I rejoice that You love to hear my voice and heart turned to you in prayer. Please forgive me when I ignore Your presence. I commit to daily being a student in your “School of Prayer” and to cry out to you regularly. Lord, please teach me to pray.”

The best way to learn to do anything is by doing that thing, right?

Would you learn to ride a bike, play football or cook a meal by reading about how to do them? No, you would practice! Like these activities, the best way to learn how to pray is to pray. So we can be obedient by doing it. In James 5:16 we are given the commandment to “pray for one another.” I often quote Leonard Ravenhill when teaching on prayer where he says,  “Few are called to preach, but all are called to pray!” The instruction from James is addressed to every believer in Jesus. So, if you are reading this, then you are called by God to pray. 

A simple way to pray throughout your day

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  Right before this verse, it says, “Pray without ceasing,” which is another instruction to pray. 

Precious reader, those two simple words, “thank you,” are a secret key to virtually every person’s heart, and it can give you the opportunity you need to pray for people. Let me explain in just one instance. Whenever I board a plane, I look at the flight attendants standing in the cabin entrance in their eyes, smile and say: “I want to say thank you to you both for serving in the skies today. God bless you.” Whether it’s to your mother, a family member, a stranger, on the phone to customer service, you can say thank you to them. A very simple next step is to ask this question slowly, clearly and sincerely from your heart:

"If there was one thing I could pray now for you personally, what would it be?" 

This question has allowed me to share Jesus with so many people! A few months ago, I wanted to rent a small car, but there were none available. In America, there is a company called U-Haul, which rents big cars so people can move their belongings from one place to another. Since I could find no small cars, I had no choice but to rent a U-Haul. With a listening heart, God gave me a number of opportunities to say thank you to people and then ask them the "one thing" question.

When we work, we work, but when we pray, God works! In the next 24 hours, God brought Sharon, a gas station manager, Jake, a young man who had been asleep on the couch in the U-Haul office, and Evangelina, my bus driver at the airport, to salvation as I thanked and prayed for each of them in response to the "one thing" prayer question. 

Now, salvation does not come with every person you pray for. However, the more people you pray for, the more you will see God heal, encourage, and set free from worry.

Now, do you want more resources so you can grow in your prayer life? You can use the following: 

1. Igniting Prayer Action’s Online School of Prayer is a simple, eight-session, scripturally based teaching that brings you from a place of setting time apart for prayer to living with prayer as a part of who you are.

2. Zume Online Disciple Multiplication Training is a remarkable, life-transforming way to step into prayer-filled obedience of the Great Commission. I have just completed facilitating a small group of seven through this 10-session journey, and each one of us has grown significantly in our daily rhythm of a prayer-filled life.

Will you commit to saying an intentional "thank you" to five people a day and then asking the "one thing" question of at least two of those people a day?


Pray this week:

“Lord, let me use this lesson as a way to grow in my prayer life. Also, give me the courage to ask more the ONE THING question and share of your saving grace. Amen.” 


Let us know if you asked the "one thing" question with those around you! Connect with a caring Christian friend today.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Follow God’s Commands

Jonah’s story shows us what happens when we disobey God’s commands

Written by GodLife on 20/03/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Grace, Mercy, Obedience, Commands, God
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 1:1-3
When I started college, I felt God commanding me to fully commit to a church family so that He could work through fellow believers to shape me more like Jesus.

How did I respond? I disobeyed and my life hit a sorrowful low as I continued to ignore the commands of Jesus. It was only by God’s grace and mercy that He received me back and I began to take his commands seriously again.

Have you ever tried to avoid a direct command from the Lord?

A story in the Bible of a prophet named Jonah shows us more clearly what can happen when a believer of God directly disobeys His commands — and it also reveals a lot about God’s true character.

Listening to God’s commands
We should first answer a question that many people have: “Why should we listen to God’s commands? How can we be sure God has our best interests at heart?” The Apostle Paul gives us an answer that provides a lot of hope.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)

The Bible also makes it clear that following God’s commands proves our love for Jesus and appreciation for the sacrifice He made for us on the cross.

“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” (2 John 1:6)

So how do we know what to follow? Well, God made it pretty easy by laying out many specific commands for us in the Scriptures, including well-known ones like ‘do not kill,’ ‘do not covet’ and others in the Ten Commandments. But he also speaks to us on a personal level — as He did in my story above — and guides us which way we should go throughout our daily lives.The Lord wants us to grow into a deeper communion with Him. We can't do that if we disregard His commands, like Jonah did. Embracing His will for us is the best way to get to know Him better.

What happens when we disobey
As seen in Jonah’s story, things go completely sideways when Jonah ignores God’s commands.

The Lord called Jonah to go to Nineveh and call it out of its sin (Jonah 1:1-3). Jonah didn’t want to do this because he felt the Ninevites, an enemy of the Jewish people, didn’t deserve the grace of God, so he ran from God.

Following his disobedience, Jonah was caught in a heavy storm while on a ship and was thrown overboard where he is then swallowed by a large fish (Jonah 1:11-15).

God was making it clear to Jonah that he saw his disobedience and was not happy with it. As a result of Jonah’s disobedience, his life was thrown into chaos and he was not experiencing what God intended him to. But God also orchestrated these events in Jonah’s life so that he had no choice but to obey Him. God may not always act so obviously in our lives when we disobey Him, but this story shows how serious God is about his followers truly following Him. 

After some grumbling, Jonah ended up in Nineveh and reluctantly followed God’s command to call Nineveh out of its sin (Jonah 3:1-5). And a funny thing happened: they repented immediately (Jonah 3:6-9)! 

God’s character revealed
This is what God wanted all along, in order to show that His great grace and mercy is available to everyone, even to people that were once enemies of Him and His people. In fact, we were all once like the Ninevites — enemies of God because of our sin — but the grace and love of God is greater than any sin we can imagine.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

This opportunity for repentance was only available because Jonah eventually obeyed God’s commands. What could God do through us if we are serious about obeying His commands?

Pray this week:
“God, help me trust Your will for my life and teach me to listen to your commands. I trust that your plan for my life is the best for me. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Amen.”

How have you disobeyed God this week and how can you make steps to obey Him in the week ahead?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member