Marriage/Family Enrichment Lesson 4
                                                         Determined to listen!


As we go through our day today we are surrounded by all kinds of sounds and distractions. Can you tell me some of the things that we hear and see through most of our day?
(Example: TV, radio, cell phones, computer, traffic, children, people talking, movies, car horns, loud speakers, machinery, birds chirping, frogs, and bugs.)

We are surrounded by many of these sounds all of the time. Letís stop for 1 minute and just listen. What sounds can we hear right now?

We like noise. When it gets to quiet what do we do? Turn on the radio, watch TV, or put on a CD.

Eventually we get so accustomed to all the noises we really donít hear them, we just tune them out as they blend together.

What about Godís voice? With all the business of the day and all the distractions can you still hear His voice? Do you know we have a wonderful ability to focus on one noise and to hear it more clearly?

Letís try it.
Be very quiet and pick one of the sounds that are around you and focus in on it.
What happens? As you focus on that noise it becomes clearer. The other noises are still there but your focus has shifted from the collection of noises to just one.

As soon as you stopped focusing what happened to the noise you picked?
The noise you picked went back in to the collection of other noises. You still hear it but it is not as important to your ears and it gets mixed up with all the other noises.

Godís voice as well, will get all mixed up with all the other voices and noises in our lives if we donít stop and focus on hearing and listening for Him.

No other voice is as important to hear as Godís voice. If we canít hear His voice we will get all mixed up in all the distractions around us.

So how do we tune our ears and hearts to hear Godís voice?
Jesus came to us and lived just as we lived in the midst of all these noises and distractions and being fully man He had to be able to focus to hear His fatherís voice.
Letís look at some ways that He did this.

Mark 1:35-39
1.What had Jesus done?
2.Where did He go?
3.Were there other things He could be doing?
4.Why was Simon looking for Him?
5.What priority did Jesus show prayer took?
6.How do we know?
7.Do you think this only happened this one time or do you think Jesus would get off to Himself and pray often?



Luke 5:15-16
We see Jesus would often get away to desolate places to pray. From the past two instances we have looked at , there were other things that wanted Jesusí attention but He still continued to go to desolate places first to pray before He went out to do what he had came to do.
1.Was this irresponsible of Jesus to make the people wait?
2.Are there things in your life that keep you away from having time to get to a desolate place to pray to God?
3.Is there anything more important that your time with God?

We are also seeing that when Jesus really needed to pray He would go to desolate places.
1.What is a desolate place?
2.Why do you think that He always went to them?
3.Do you have a place that you can go to pray and talk with God, just you and Him?

Luke 6:12-16
1.Where did Jesus go?
2.What was He doing?
3.How long did He stay?
4.Jesus prayed all night, why did He need to spend so much time praying?

There are times that we need to really know what Godís will is. Have you ever had one of those times? Did you want to know what God wants badly enough that you would be willing to stay up all night, praying to find out?

Mathew 14:22-23
Life can be very draining both physically and spiritually.

1.Do you ever feel drained after a long day?
2.What happens to us when we do activities right after another without stopping to spend time with God?

Luke 9:28-36
Nothing can bring us closer to God than prayer. Like Moses appearance changed when he had been with God and here in these verses Jesus was in the direct presence of His father. We too are changed as spend time in prayer with our Creator. We desperately need to be transformed and prepared to serve by our Father every day if we are going to enjoy the closeness that Jesus showed us we can have if we are willing to invest the time to do so. Prayer does not always mean our lives will be easy. Sometimes God asks us to do things that are not always easy but are always the best thing for us to do.

Mathew 26:36-42
Jesus said His soul was sorrowful even to death. God asked Him to do a hard thing, an impossible thing: Jesus was asked by His Father to take all of you sins all of the sins of every person who has ever lived and have them placed on Him. He who knew no sin would become our sin. He would know the depth of our evil and pain. He would receive the depth of Godís judgment and He who was innocent would now be guilty.
What would have happened if He had said ďNo. It is too much I donít want to do itĒ?
He didnít say no. He did it. He paid the penalty of our sins and now if we trust Him we are granted eternity in His presence with no sin only love, peace, and joy.

God does not always give, He sometimes asks us to give. Has He asked anything of you? Are you obeying Him? Are you willing to live a life of prayer in the way our Lord did?

How has God spoken to you today?
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