When you walk with someone, you get to know them. When you go through problems and struggles together,
their character is revealed and you are bonded together in relationship. Your faith is tested in
difficulty. When you are assaulted and come out trusting, your walk with God takes on a new dimension.
When you know the character of God, no proof is necessary for your belief. If you question God’s
character, no proof is sufficient. Faith is born out of a relationship.
The heart of prayer is knowing God. Prayer is the only way to communion with God. His passion and
values can come no other way.
I once struggled with guilt over my prayerlessness. I knew that I needed to pray, but it was hard to
find time. I'd rush in to church Sunday morning, pray a quick prayer and ask forgiveness for not
praying more; and then promise God that I would pray more. Next Sunday the same thing. But there
came a time when I had a fresh encounter with Jesus. At about the same time I attended the "Change
the World School of Prayer." A new power and freedom came into my ministry, and a new desire to pray.
After six months, I began to settle back into the old rut. The desire and enthusiasm were gone. I read
books, preached on prayer, and attended the prayer seminar again. Nothing happened. Then I sought
Jesus and everything changed. I had sought prayer and duty and missed Jesus. It was then that I
realized that God does not give us impersonal things like prayer, power, victory, or service.
He gives us a relationship with Jesus.
Instead of seeking a prayer life, seek Jesus. The prayer life comes out of the relationship.
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Jesus is God come in the flesh.
As you read the Gospels and talk to the Lord in prayer, He know about your temptations,
struggles and problems. "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help
those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2:18). "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and
perfecter of our faith… Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:2-3). Prayer is all about His presence.
The VOICE OF God
I have found some guidelines that have helped me hear God’s VOICE. Here's an acrostic, VOICE,
that is easy to remember.
By John David Hicks
V—Value the Lord for who He is and what He has done for you as you tend to worship what
you value. So value the Lord by “Enter[ing] into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with
praise; bless His Holy Name” (Ps. 100:4-5). Acknowledge and worship the Lord as your Savior and
King (2 Pet. 1:10-11). Note what this value does in Revelation 5:12, “In a loud voice they sang:
'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor
and glory and praise!'”
O—Observe the Lord by focusing on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of your faith
(Heb. 12:2). In fact it is He alone who redeems you, makes you His child, and gives you an
everlasting inheritance of Himself. You are deeply loved, highly favored, and greatly blessed
by Him (Num. 6:24-26). His love for you has been unchangeable, unshakable, and unfailing (Jer. 31:3).
When you receive His "grace" abundance and the gift of righteousness, without condemnation,
you will reign in life (Rom. 5:17). When you embrace the Lord’s trustworthy character (Ps. 9:10),
that He will never leave you or abandon you (Heb. 13:5), Christ’s love will make you more than
a conqueror (Rom. 8:37).
I—I am in Christ, accepted as His beloved bride (John 3:29), and I died with Christ
(Gal. 2:20) and I am made alive in Christ (Col. 2:13). I abide in Him (1 John 2:27-28).
I am God’s dwelling place (1 Cor. 3:16) and seek to hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27).
“In Christ,” I have the Holy Spirit as my 24/7 helper (Heb. 4:16). He makes it possible to
be present with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). “He who is in me is greater than the
one who is in the world“(1 John 4:4). Since Christ is my life (Col. 3:3), I can sense His
reactions and responses within me (1 John 4:13).
C—Conviction and Peace are the two witnesses that confirm God's Word to your mind,
will, and emotions. Knowing or conviction confirms your inner peace (Rom. 9:1; James 1:6),
and that peace in you will govern and guide you (Phil. 4:6-7). “For it is God who works in
you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13); He is faithful to keep
you blameless and in fellowship (I Cor. 1:8-9). It is not you but the Lord that brings
life-changing conviction, faith, and peace in your thoughts, feelings, desires, or impulses
when you have missed the mark (Rom. 14:23).
E—Enlightenment and Revelation come as you wait on the Lord (Ps. 38:15). Journaling
gives you clarification. "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Write in a book
all the words I have spoken to you” (Jer. 30:2; Prov. 3:3, 5-6). Isaiah voices this
Enlightenment in chapter 50:4-5, “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear
to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not
been rebellious; I have not drawn back.” “So then do not be foolish, but understand what
the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).
V—Value the Lord for who He is and what He has done for you.
O—Observe the Lord by focusing on Jesus.
I—I am in Christ, accepted and loved.
C—Conviction and Peace will confirm the witness of God's Word to your heart.
E—Enlightenment comes as you wait and journal with the Lord.
Paul summarizes hearing God’s voice in two verses: Col. 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer,
being watchful and thankful.” 2 Cor. 13:14 AMP, “The grace (favor and spiritual blessing)
of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the presence and fellowship (the communion
and sharing together, and participation) in the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (so be it).”
To My Prayer Partners
Thank you for your prayers and support—especially your prayers. May you daily hear God’s voice
like you would your best friend and experience the same fellowship and divine guidance
as Jesus had with the Father.
Your Brother in Christ,
John David Hicks
John David Hicks, Evangelist / Bible Teacher •
Summer 2015 • Volume 18 Number 1
To My Prayer Partners!
“Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone
hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation
3:20 NKJV). God wants to fellowship with you. Out of that fellowship you will do and see what the
father is doing.
By John David Hicks
Jesus’ times of prayer were not seeking God's will but seeking
fellowship, His presence. When you read the Gospels you see that Jesus has a message and put it into practice.
He is doing what God is doing.
To walk with God and live in His presence is the birthright of every believer. If you don’t grasp this truth,
your quiet time will turn into a routine Bible study and prayer. You will miss “the path of life… joy in your
presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).