Daily Bread July 18

Listen to the Prophetic Voice
Andrew Fox, British Isles Mission Centre president and financial officer

…[Nathan speaks prophetically to David] I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  -2 Samuel 7:9-12

During my teenage years the British Isles reunion schedule included a prayer-and-testimony service every morning. Whilst I attended each of these services, I did not always listen closely to each prayer or every testimony.

At one such service I noticed Nicholas, a peer, stand and speak. But my mind was elsewhere, and I did not listen. At the end of the service several people approached me and expressed how wonderful it had been to hear what Nicholas had shared. They asked how it felt to have God speak to me through Nicholas. I seem to remember offering some vague responses. I didn’t mention that I had no idea what Nicholas had said because I wasn’t listening.

Fortunately, Nicholas’ Aunt Lily took copious notes in shorthand at each service and had written down exactly what Nicholas had said. A few weeks later I received in the post a transcript of the prophetic words God had wanted me to hear on that day, if only my mind had been attuned to listen.

The prophetic voice speaks to us in many ways and forms.

Prophecy may come through the spoken words of one in tune with God at that time. On other occasions we may encounter the prophetic voice, not through words but through the wonders of nature. And sometimes the prophetic voice speaks to us directly in a moment of clarity that permeates our thinking when no one else is present. The challenge before each of us is to be attentive and ready to listen.

But let’s be honest, there still will be occasions when we fail to hear or recognise the promptings of God’s voice. On those occasions we may discover we need to give thanks for the Lilys of this world, who listen for the prophetic voice on our behalf.

Prayer Phrase

“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8)

Spiritual Practice

The Prayer of the Heart

Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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