Guys, do you remember the first time you called a girl you liked on the phone? (Or maybe you are still trying screw up your courage to do that!) Remember how hard it was. You thought about it for days. Finally, you decide you would call no matter what. You pick up the phone and start to dial. Then your hands start to shake. You hang up the phone. After several tries, you finally let the phone ring. She answers. You hyperventilate. She hears this heavy breathing and hangs up. After you get your composure, you try again. Your mind goes blank, but you blurt out, "Hello, Mary, this is movies, will you go to the john with me?"
Guys, why are we so "mental" when it comes to talking with girls? List at least three opinions. (Ask some girls.)
Girls, it seems that you were born to talk, especially on the phone. You have waited for days for this guy to call you. Every time the phone rings, and your little brother tries to answer it, you punch him in the stomach. Then you body slam him. Then you answer, ever so sweetly, "Hello, this is Mary Oh, hi Im so glad you called ... Oh, Im spending some time with my sweet little brother." Nervously you talk nonstop for fifteen minutes!
Girls, why is it so easy for you to talk on and on and on? List at least three opinions. (Ask some guys.)
Lets say your phone conversation goes really well. After a few times on the phone, you both relax, and talk more easily. After a while you find yourself spending hours together on the phone. Why? The relationship is deepening. The deeper it goes the more you enjoy talking to each other. Now instead of being afraid to talk, you find it intensely exciting.
Your Relationship With God
Your relationship to God is like that. At first you might find it hard to talk to God. In fact, if somebody called on you to pray out loud, you might just croak.
Talking to God Survey
On a scale of 1 to 10, give a number to each statement (1=strongly disagree; 10=strongly agree)
___ Prayer is boring.
___ Praying in groups makes me nervous.
___ God answers my specific prayers.
___ Praying makes me sleepy.
___ Raising my hands in worship makes my pits sweat.
___ I have a hot line to heaven.
Up Close and Personal
"The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray." S.D. Gordon
You may be asking: "Why is prayer important for me to make a difference on my campus?" Simple answer: Unless you know Jesus up close and personal, you cant communicate Him to your friends. The only way you will take your campus for Christ is to understand, in no uncertain terms, that it will happen only through prayer. That begins with the intimacy and romance of your personal prayer life.
Prayer is not:
Rather consider it the incredible privilege of spending time with the Creator of the universe who gave His life on the cross because He loves you so much.
My translator in Russia, Lena Ostapenko, a Julia Roberts look-alike, had come to know Jesus eighteen months before our team arrived. Spending time alone with God every day was a totally new thought to her. Hungry to know God, she decided that she would get up one hour early every day (even though she is not a morning person). "But," she confessed, "I dont know what to do or say." I gave her a copy of my book, Spending Time Alone With God, to help her. She cried. Its the only other Christian book she owns besides the Bible. She not only uses it for herself, but is teaching seven other young girls to pray as well. She considered getting with God a wonderful privilege.
How zealous are you to communicate with God every day?
___ Hot to trot
___ No big deal
___ Ice cold
Count on this: God wants you so close to Him that He can tell you His deepest thoughts, and confide in you His most intimate secrets.
The Passion to Communicate
If we look at the life of Jesus in the Gospels like a play, Jesus is the star, many others are in supporting roles, and prayer, the passion to communicate with His Father, is the backdrop.
He began in prayer.
Describe the dramatic way Jesus began His public ministry in Luke 3:21-22.
He continued in prayer.
Luke tells us: "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16).
Discover some of the other times Jesus prayed specifically before a big decision or event:
He ended in prayer.
From Luke 22: 39-46, find out everything you can about how Jesus handled this crisis in the Garden of Gethsemane through prayer.
Then on the cross, He called out to God with a loud voice: "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46).
He keeps on praying.
Check out Hebrews 7:25 to find out when Jesus prays for you and what the result is.
"The Lord Jesus is still praying. Thirty years of living, thirty years of serving, one tremendous act of dying, 1,900 years of prayer. What an emphasis on prayer." S.D. Gordon
Jesus had a passion to pray. Thats because He knew that everything hinged on His communication with His Father.
Jesus wants us to have the same kind of passion to communicate with His Father that He had. Jesus offers us the privilege of passionate prayer as a gift He gives, just like a guy gives a girl flowers. Its a significant part of a special relationship.
A Love Note
Along with the flowers (or a boutonniere for the guys), He has written you a "love note" letting you know how exciting communication with Him can be. Have you ever written a love note and then had it trashed? Heartbreak City! Jesus wants you to read His love note, and take it seriously.
The whole Bible is His "Love Book" to you. And one of the little notes inside it goes like this:
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me [thats you] will do what I have been doing [Preaching the Good News, healing the sick, delivering those oppressed by Satan]. He will do even greater things than these [wow!], because I am going to My Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name [answer your prayer], so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it" [What a promise!]. (Jesus in John 14:12-14)
If He wrote it, Hell do it!
He comes through on what He promised you in that "love note" by answering you when you talk to Him. Just to give you an idea of how dramatically and powerfully God does that, check this out.
After my dad discovered that he had cancer, three doctors told him to go home, because there was nothing to do. It was terminal. I was in one of those meetings where the doctor put the x-rays on the wall and showed my dad the cancer spots all over his spine.
I, along with the rest of my family, began to pray for my dad every day. One morning in church the Lord gave me a picture in my mind. I saw my dads x-rays with all the spots. Then I saw this Big Hand with a dart gun in it, the kind that shoots the rubber darts that you used when you were a kid. This big hand was shooting these rubber darts at the black cancer spots. The dart would stick, then drop to the floor, peeling off the black cancer spots. It kept shooting and peeling until all of the spots were gone. Im thinking:
"Thats really weird!"
Our family had a special time of prayer for my dad about a week later. During the night he said that "The Lord woke me up and did something unusual in my body." Later, when he finished his cancer treatments and the doctor looked at the x-rays his exact words were, "It looks like those cancer spots have peeled right off of there."
Alcoholics set free, homosexuals delivered, people with physical and emotional abuse healed, a couples relationship destroyed by an affair restored, kids on drugs released, pregnant teenagers helped, all by releasing Gods resources through passionate prayer.
Reflect: When has God answered your prayers? Write down three or four.
Right now, why dont you write a love note back to Him expressing your desire to talk to Him.
Making Plans for the Big Date
"Yeah, prayer sounds great, but I dont have a clue about what to do. Help!" Okay, what did Jesus do in Mark 1:35?
What He did is exactly what you need to do!
Thats the first big move. You will have all kinds of excuses for not getting up, not the least of which is, "Im not a morning person. Cant I do this at night?" The reason you are a night person is that you stay up at night. The reason you are not a morning person is that you dont get up in the morning. If you make a habit of getting up you will become a morning person. (A miracle, no less.)
Besides, no team warms up after the game. God wants you to warm up with Him before the action of your day begins.
One student made a commitment to God to get up in the morning. But he struggled with it. He hated getting up. Setting his alarm clock did not help. Determined, he set up a contraption that ensured of getting up. To his alarm clock he attached a fishing pole that hung over his bed. The fishing line hung down with four hooks. Each hook was connected to one corner of his covers When the alarm went off the fishing rod reeled in the blanket! Not only did he get up and get with God, he became an influential spiritual leader on his campus, and later on throughout the country.
Radically ridiculous! Are you willing to become like that in order to have personal communication time with God?
Choose a time.
Select a time that will give you 20-30 minutes with God in the morning. (That probably means you need to go to bed 20-30 minutes earlier.)
Find a quiet place.
Your next major step is to find a place where you can be alone. Notice that when Jesus got up He "left the house." You may or may not need to do that. The point is to find a place alone where you wont be distracted by your parents or brothers and sisters. One of my friends tried several places and finally settled on the bathtub. Think of a good place for you to meet with the Lord.
Focus your attention.
Your final step of preparation is to focus your attention. You cant do that if you are still half asleep. Get a shower. Get dressed. Dont forget to brush your teeth. Oh, yeah, and floss too! Turn on some Christian music. Get your Bible, preferably the New International Version, and a notebook, preferably a Time Alone with God Notebook. Consider this a "date" with God. Pray this prayer: "Lord, Im here and I want to talk with You." Now count on Him to meet you.
Going Out in Style
Just like talking with someone special on the phone, talking with God is two-way communication. One person never dominates the conversation. If that happens, then talking gets boring. So how do you carry on this two-way conversation?
God Talks, You Listen
The reason God gave you only one mouth, but two ears, is so you can listen twice as much as you talk.
One man I met could stand outside at night and hear the sounds of 500 different kinds of crickets! He had a Ph.D. in crickets! We need to train our spiritual ears to hear the voice of God like that guy could hear crickets.
We listen to God by reading His Word and then letting Him speak to us. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that when we listen, "the Word of God is living and active it penetrates."
What part of you does Gods Word lovingly, actively penetrate? (See the verse.)
Start with John 1:1-5, then read one paragraph in John every day.
You Talk, God Listens
You will never get a busy signal or get put off by "Call Waiting" when you talk to God. He is very interested in hearing from you. His "ears are attentive to your prayers" (1 Peter 3:12). He has already left you a message to call Him.
Often after we "bless Mom and Dad" and say "Give me a good day," we run out of things to say unless, of course, we have a big test. But Hebrews 4:16 tells us how to approach God. How do we do that?
Use these instructions to help you in your prayer time:
Will you begin the habit of "going out" with God?
Because I want to get to grow in my passion for God, I agree to have a daily time alone with God at
______________________________ (place) and at ______________________________ (time)
for __________ days.
Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: ________________________
Have you ever encountered a girl who just got engaged? Her "man" has captured her heart and she has captured his.
She walks around with her ring finger in everyones face so all can see "the ring." He just walks around grinning like the cat that ate the mouse. They are captivated by the exciting adventure of growing more in love every day. They are in love. And everybody knows it.
In a romance with Jesus Christ, God will capture your heart. He will become your love. Growing in love with Him will get to be the most exciting adventure of your life. And when it is, you will want everyone to know it, especially your friends at school!
I commit myself to spending time alone with God every day for at least 15 minutes.
Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: ________________________
Now get ready to pray for your campus!