ok, with the intro at Synod (Tues pm1 @ about 37 minutes in) to our new home missions director, Moses Chung, I want to raise some questions on listening prayer. How much do we do listening prayer in corporate/communal settings?
In the intro, Brother James, pres. of home missions, said, " God spoke to us and said, "This is the person..." Now I know the scriptures do not say, "In 2011, the CRC Home Missions will appoint Moses for their director". So, how did they "hear Him?
After hundreds of years of cessationism, that we refuted in the 1973 Synod, where are we at with listening prayer?
Do we practice it, do we understand it? Is it scary? Just too mystical for our western trained intellect? I know our "times" of silence during church usually are about 10-15 seconds... so I don't think that's it.
So, interested in your experience or no experience of this "practice". I would love to hear your testimonies of "listening and obeying", whether they were corporate in nature or personal!
My personal journey on this started in high school, a little over 20 years ago. I spent hours (did I mention hours? like 10-15/day) driving a berry harvester at approx. 1 mile per hour. I loved it and still do. If you have ever been to NW WA, and seen the raspberry fields, this is where I worked in the summers (actually still do, but now we own some instead =) and work with our family). These hours provided much contemplation/ God time with many beautiful conversations with Him. I remember later reading books by Dobson and Swindoll and others, and realizing God had already given me some of the same thoughts in my time with Him in the field .
However, in the early 90's, the New Age cult was becoming prominent with increased awareness, and out of fear of that and ignorance about "listening prayer" - I had never heard anyone share on this concept, I closed that door of conversations with God, and it became one way prayer for almost 20 years. By His grace, He opened that door again a few years ago, and it has been an amazing and incredibly beautiful journey of rediscovering His voice. It is something I would love for everyone to "experience." But not all are excited about it, and someone flat out said, "God doesn't do that anymore." So, believe you me, when I heard the intro to Moses, my ears and heart perked up and decided I'm taking advantage of that!
Several of the books I have read on listening prayer are: God Guides by Mary Geegh...this is an RCA contrib. and available for $3-$4 through Faith Alive, with a great forward from Pray America
Another book is, Is That Really You God, by Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM...great testimonies of listening prayer as well as wonderful history of the powerful ministry of YWAM.
Also, the books by Dr. Alvin Vander Griend (Love to Pray, Joy of Prayer, Praying God's Heart) have chapters pertaining to this as well.
There are other books that were very influential in my "training" on listening prayer as well, but those mentioned should have solid credibility in our denom.
Ok, look forward to your thoughts and testimonies =)
Affectionately, Bev Sterk