With Christ in the school of prayer
This hearing the voice of God is more than the thoughtful study of the Word. One can study and receive knowledge of the Word having little real fellowship with the living God. But there is also a reading of the Word, in the very presence of the Father and under the leading of the Spirit, in which the Word comes to us in living power from God Himself. It is to us the very voice of the Father, a real, personal fellowship with Himself. The living voice of God enters the heart, bringing blessing and strength, and awakening the response of a living faith that reaches back to the heart of God.
The power both to obey and believe depends on hearing God’s voice this way. The chief thing is’nt knowing what God has said we must do, but that God Himself says it to us. Neither the law, nor the book, nor the knowledge of what is right works obedience. This can be accomplished only by the personal influence of God through His living fellowship. The presence of God Himself as the Promiser, not the knowledge of what He has promised, awakens faith and trust in prayer. It is only in the full presence of God that disobedience and unbelief become impossible.
“If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” In these words the Saviour gives Himself. We must have the words in us – taken up into our wills and lives, reproduced in our inner natures and conduct. They must abide in us. Our lives must be one continuous display of words that fill us. The words reveal Christ inside and our lives reveal Him outside. As the words of Christ enter our very hearts, becoming and influencing our lives, our words will enter His heart and influence Him. My prayer will depend on my life: Whatever God’s words are to me and in me will determine what my words will be to God and in God. If I do what God says, God will do what I say.