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Come Up and Wait

Do you find yourself rushing through your prayers – rattling off a list of requests without pausing to hear God’s reply?

The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain
and wait there…” (Exodus 24:12).

And Wait There

God called Moses to come into His presence…and waitMoses obeyed.

Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai…”
Exodus 24:15-16.

Moses lingered before God and as a result, experienced more of His presence and glory than any person had known.

When was the last time you waited before the Lord?

The New King James version says: “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there (v.12).

God says, “Just be here with me.” When was the last time you went into God’s presence just to be there with Him? Not to rattle off a shopping list of requests. Not to demand instant intervention. Not to complain or moan – but just to be there with Him.

There is nothing wrong or unspiritual about presenting requests to God. Scripture instructs us to do so: “…in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Prayer: A Two-Way Conversation

Time and again scripture exhorts us to bring our requests to God in prayer. However, prayer is communion. It is a conversation. Prayer is not just you talking to God, but God talking to you. Hearing God often means lingering before Him.

At lunch with a fellow believer, a Christian exclaimed, “My prayer time this morning was great!”

“Really?” replied her friend. “What did you say to God? What did He say to you?”

“I told the Lord about all my desperate needs and pleaded for His help,” answered the prayer warrior. “But as for what He said to me…well, I…uh…uh…well…I don’t recall Him saying anything to me.”

What if I were to ask you about your time in prayer today? What did you say to God? What did God say to you?

If what you said to God has not caused Him to say something to you, there is no communion.  You have not really prayed. You’ve had a one-way conversation.

A Few Biblical Examples

Examine the prayers in the Bible. Not only did the men and women speak to God, but God spoke back to them. The Bible is full of examples of prayers that are two-way conversations. For the sake of time, I’ll mention four.

Paul’s thorn

Three times Paul asked God to remove the thorn. God replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

Jehoshaphat

When faced with an overwhelming military attack, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast and prayed, “O our God…we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

God replied, speaking through a prophet: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…stand still and see the deliverance the Lord will give you” (see 2 Chronicles 20: 1-17).

Jacob

Fearing an attack by his brother Esau, Jacob divided his people into two groups and devised a plan to appease Esau. That night as Jacob was alone, a man attacked him and wrestled with him.

27[The Man] asked him, What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]!  28And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:27-28, AMP).

Jacob was willing to wait, to linger, to cling to these moments. In turn, not only was his character completely changed from con-man to prince, but Jacob saw God face to face!

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face'” (Gen. 32:30).

Daniel

The king was going to kill all the wise men unless one of them could tell him what his dream was and interpret it. Daniel asked the king for time so that he might interpret the dream.

What did Daniel do with his time? Did he turn on the television? Or surf the internet? Or peruse Facebook? Or post a couple of Tweets?

Daniel prayed.

Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends… 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed” (Daniel 2:17-18).

God didn’t answer Daniel at that moment but during the night:

During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said: ‘Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” (Daniel 2.19-21).

Daniel was a man who fasted from the royal, choice food. He was a man who lived a lifestyle of fasting and prayer. Fasting is waiting upon God. There are times we cannot sit before God for several hours, but we can so separate ourselves unto Him through fasting that we remain in an attitude of prayer all day long, no matter what we are doing.

When we fast—whether from media, from television or from food—our ears are more attune to His voice. We stop stuffing ourselves with small things so that we can truly be filled with the great. We shut out all other voices, comforts and substitutes for God—and as a result, we can hear Him more clearly. When God’s answer does come—whether later that night or later that month—we won’t miss it!

God also calls us to an attitude of waiting throughout the day. Not looking to other sources for comfort in our trials and stresses – but looking to and waiting on Him.

David Wilkerson said:

Sadly, many who truly love Jesus often panic in times of crisis, and they worry and fret. They spend time trying to figure out ways to escape or endure their trial. They do not heed His call to “come and dine” with Him. I am not talking about spending one hour or so each day in prayer, I am talking about focusing on Him all through the day, “Praying without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This is simple, quiet conversation—just talking to Him, becoming more acquainted with Him, so that in crisis times we need not rush in consternation to a prayer closet and wail out for help like a stranger. [1]

A Few of God’s Promises to Those Who Wait

Isaiah 64:4 – Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Psalm 40:1 – I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

Psalm 25:3 – Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.

Isaiah 40:30-31 – Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31but they who wait for 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.

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

Question: Are you showing up, being there with God and lingering until you hear Him speak? Are you shutting yourself up to God? Are you walking humbly before Him, in an attitude of waiting and communion all day long?

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