Dear Mark, I wanted to contact you and thank you for your help and prayers.
I have continued praying. However I am having a hard time at it. I feel that while praying I am talking to myself. I do not feel like I am communicating with God directly.
Mark, if you can think of any recommendations of books or publications that I may read on prayers, or praying It would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You, and God Bless you.
Glad to hear from you. I will give it some thought about the right book for you. In the meantime I have something that worked for me.
Often when we ask God questions and then listen for His thoughts we end up thinking that what is coming into our minds is just our own thoughts. We end up concluding just what you have concluded; that we are just talking to ourselves. Here is a way that helps us tell the difference between our thoughts and God’s thoughts. When the thought is wiser, more loving, kinder, gentler, and just generally superiorto what I would say to myself then it is probably coming from God. Often God will answer with a statement of love or affection toward you that you would never say to yourself – it’s just too good. Or he might say something that you would never think of yourself. Or he might say something about someone else that is just way more patient or loving than you are – like showing you how to forgive someone you really don’t want to forgive.
In other words, when the thought is just plain better than what you would come up with, it is probably from God. Also, we always have to check to see if the potential “God Thought” is consistent with His character, values, methodology, purposes, etc. as see in the Bible, especially in the example of Jesus.
What I do is write down the thoughts when they come and take what encouragement I can from them just as if they are from God, then I wait a few weeks and go back and read them again. Often, when you go back to read them later it is clear that it was God because it is just what you needed to hear and you can see the word more objectively when you look back at it.
Also, God will often keep saying the same kind of thing to you many times because it is too good for you to believe and He has to repeat it until you believe it really was Him communicating.
I have a series of teachings (see audio series) on all of this and I am going to copy this email to my wife and she will send you the link so you can download it and listen to it. I believe it will make a big difference to your life. I will also look for a good book for you.
I suggest you continue to write down your probable God thoughts and try going over then later and try in the meantime to see if they are “better” than what you would normally think. If they are, take them as from God and let them touch your heart and mind. It was a joy for me to pray with you. I will be praying for God to help you to hear and believe His thoughts.