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Waiting on and communing with God in prayer

The central issue for the mature believer

All believers need to commune closely with God and seek answers to all life issues themselves. Although there is a scriptural place for counsellors as we learn these things, we must learn to interact with God ourselves in order that we come to maturity of personal fellowship with Him.

It is all to common for believers to go to God more in times of need and crises, to gain relief from the present difficult circumstance and not learn from each sin episode. In such cases people do not learn to wait on God.

If we continually do go to someone else when we are in trouble, then we expect them to fight our spiritual battles for us. It is up to us to learn to fight our own.

Moreover, what battles we do not learn to win ourselves in partnership with God, our children will have to learn to fight for themselves because we will not be able to teach them ourselves.

In addition, we may find ourselves spending much or all of our energy in just surviving, if we do not learn to overcome in partnership with God. We must learn to wrestle ourselves!

One of the best examples of this going wrong in scripture is the case of where Samuel did all the praying for the people and for Saul, who when he became King, never ever learnt to wait on God and get his own answers. In this story the people never learnt to wait on the Lord and neither did Saul. Hear these things on Sound Doctine audio tape "Saul" spoken by Tim Williams

Some examples of how Samuel always prayed and took everything to the Lord.

(1 Sam 7:5 ) And Samuel said, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you."

(1 Sam 7:8 ) So the children of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines."

(1 Sam 8:6 ) But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.

(1 Sam 8:7 ) And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

It is the object of this study to provide basic scriptural references to an introduction to the subject of what the requirements of waiting on the Lord are and how we might learn to go about it.

1. Advice about Waiting on God

(Psa 62:1) Truly my soul silently waits for God;

(Psa 62:5 ) My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

(Lam 3:25 ) The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.

(Lam 3:26 ) It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

(Psa 40:1 ) I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.

(Psa 27:14 ) Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

(Psa 25:5 ) Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

(Hosea 12:6) And wait on your God continually.

(Psa 130:5 ) I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.

(Psa 69:3 ) I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

(Isa 25:9 ) And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."

(Psa 33:20 ) Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.

(Psa 39:7 ) "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.

(Isa 40:31) But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

2. What we are seeking

(Mat 6:33 ) "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

(Prov 2:4 ) If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;

(1 Pet 3:11 ) Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

(2 Pet 1:4-11) by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature,....... for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(Isa 64:4 ) For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.

3. Prequisites for Communion with God

Reconciliation

(2 Cor 5:18-19 ) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Acceptance of Christ

(John 14:6 ) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Obedience

(John 14:23 ) Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Holiness

(2 Cor 6:14-18) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. .......And I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."

4. Worship defined and commanded

(John 4:20-24 ) "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

(1 Chr 16:29 ) Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!

5. Praise required

(Psa 139:14 ) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

6. What we should manifest towards God

Belief

(Heb 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Holiness.

(Heb 12:10) For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

Peace

(Heb 12:14 ) Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Godliness

(Titus 2:12) teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

Love

(Mat 22:36-37 ) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'

Faith

(Mark 11:22 ) So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God.

Joy

(Phil 4:4) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

7. What we should manifest towards Christ

Faith

(2 Tim 1:12 ) For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Worship

(Phil 2:4 -11) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Obedience

(2 Th 1:8 ) in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Imitation

(1 Cor 11:1 ) Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Fellowship

(1 John 1:3 ) that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

8. What we should manifest towards the Holy Spirit.

Walking in spirit

(Gal 5:16 ) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Filled with spirit

(Eph 5:18 ) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

Guided by the spirit

(John 16:13 ) "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Praying in spirit

(Jude 1:20 ) But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Quench not spirit

(1 Th 5:19 ) Do not quench the Spirit.

Taught by spirit

(John 14:26 ) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Living in spirit

(Gal 5:25 ) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Grieve not spirit

(Eph 4:30 ) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

9. Submission and obedience

(James 4:7 ) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

(Heb 12:9 ) Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

10. Abiding

(John 15:4-6 ) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

11. Wisdom

(Isa 40:28 ) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

(Dan 2:20 ) Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His.

12. Parts of prayer

Adoration

(Dan 4:34-35) And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?"

Confession

(1 John 1:9 ) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Supplication

(1 Tim 2:1-3) Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,

Intercession

(James 5:14-15 ) Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Thanksgiving

(Phil 4:6 ) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

13. Personal requirements of prayer

Purity of heart.

(Psa 66:18 ) If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

Believing

(Mat 21:22 ) "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

In Christ's name

(John 14:13 ) "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

According to God's will

(1 John 5:14 ) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Forgiving spirit

(Mat 6:14 ) "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Simplicity

(Mat 6:5-6 ) "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Humility and repentance

(Luke 18:10 ) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Tenacity

(Luke 18:7 ) "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

Importunity -

(Luke 11:8 ) "I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Without many words

(Mat 6:7 ) "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Ken Walker

July 5th 1997