Week before last the Masculine Journey Radio Team had an Advanced Boot Camp at the NC Boys Academy at Tree Top Adventures on Lake Hickory. The Challenge we faced was should we attempt listening prayer with young boys 14-18 some of which were not yet believers in Christ. Yes, they knew of Him but weren’t really sure if a personal relationship with God was even real or available to them.
As the Christian Car Guy and having trained hundreds of car salesman over the years one critical basic principle I taught, and still teach is: “PRESENTATION WITHOUT DEMONSTRATION IS MERE CONVERSATION”. In other words you can tell someone all day long how fun it is to ride in a Jeep Wrangler with the top down and the doors off, But if you will take the time and remove the top and the doors and take them for a ride the experience is way beyond anything you could ever tell them. Or you can tell someone about a BOSE sound system all day long how many watts, amps you name it, but have them sit and listen to the BOSE high fidelity mp3 cranked up with waterfalls and oceans, symphonies and Hard Rock again more powerful than anything you could ever say. “PRESENTATION WITHOUT DEMONSTRATION IS MERE CONVERSATION”. Get the principle; now how can you apply this in your relating to others.
Listening Prayer as it turns out is an amazing way to do this with Christ. I’m praying the story of what happened with this listening prayer event will convey enough about the power of listening prayer that you will try it.
So after a few teaching sessions at our Advanced Boot Camp we set up the Listening Prayer Session with simple instructions.
***** THE NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE BOYS*****
Break into smaller groups our was 8 people 4 boys from the academy 1 Boys Academy staff member we will call “Leo”, me and two other guys who were veterans of Ransom Heart and Masculine Journey Radio Boot Camps. Simply open with a short, “God give us the name of who you want to speak over tonight.” Then everyone listen for a name. NO PREACHING, NO WORDS, LISTEN. Then once you have people speaking out they hear the name ________. Again that’s all listening and the simple words I hear, Ralf. Once you have a name a simple prayer should be said, “God please give us the words you want to speak over, ______ Ralf or whoever.
Now as you might imagine you do this in a group with 4 boys 14-18 years old they begin to giggle, then choke on laughs and laugh uncontrollably. Though they are trying to control it they are still laughing a lot and this went on on off for the whole hour we listened. Ad to that, Leo starts to growl ERRRRRRR. and again he says ERRRRRRRR. Though the boys are now almost at hilarity I ask, Leo, “what does that mean ERRRRRR?”
Leo says,” I am hearing ERRRRRR you know their are three boys in the group with ERRRR in their first name, Conner, Tucker and Parker. ”
More laughing but we all just keep trying to listen and honestly at this point I’m asking, “Jesus what do you want me to do and Jesus clearly says let them laugh. Next, Parker says he is hearing, “Conner” and shortly after Tucker says he is hearing “Mark” yet we have no Mark in the group.
I ask, “does anyone have a middle name Mark?” and sure enough Conner says that’s his middle name. So I say, “sounds like you want to speak over Conner, Lord give us your words.” and we begin to listen for that still with much giggling though its become less frequent.
I then clearly hear, “Honor”, from God.
So I ask, “Conner is there something God would want to honor you for did you do something that you were honored for?”
Connor says, “Mr. Robby you don’t understand, I am a bad kid, no one would ever honor me. ”
“Well, Conner, God is clearly got a different view I am hearing, honor.” I told him
Then Parker says, “Yes, I am hearing Strength, Courage” and all goes quiet for a minute.
Conner says, “I am am hearing, light” and the giggling starts again.
This frustrates the ex-marine in the group and although not in the guidelines of listening prayer he calls them out, “Do you boys even want to hear from God?, do you even know who He is?”
Conner says sincerely, “Mr. we were hijacked to this camp, I never went to church had no understanding of all this, maybe there is a God maybe not, I’m not sure.”
Tuckers says something along those same lines, Parker says, “I believe in God, went to church all my life, but God hasn’t answered my prayers. ”
I said, “come on guys, lets try to listen.” Getting back to the exercise, More time passes a few more words are spoken over Conner all exhorting him. with the Giggling I look at my watch and see the hour has passed and tell everyone it’s movie night and we can go ahead and transition to that, thinking to myself, I guess it kinda was over their heads, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, BOY WAS I WRONG.
As I walked out of the room, Conner followed me, “Mr. Robby can I speak with you?”
“Sure”, and we headed back to a dark corner in the kitchen as I could see Conner had something on his heart.
“Mr. Robby do you think I really heard from God, what do you think it means, “Light”.
I told him, Jesus is the light of the World, I believe He has a lot He would like to tell you, can you get back to that place spiritually when you heard light and ask, Jesus do you Love me?” Conner went on to share some intimate details of his story that broke my heart as we were wrapping up, Tucker walk up.
“Mr. Robby do you think I really heard from God?” he asked, Tucker, Conner and I talked more of listening for Jesus and asking Him, do you love me? Tucker shared more of his story and after a few minutes they headed off to watch the movie.
As I headed for a staff meeting, the head counselor with the boys academy approached me, “Robby, I got another boy want to speak with you.” You guessed it, Tucker.
“Mr. Robby do you think I really heard from God?” he asked. Another heart breaking story and another boy who so wanted to know that God was real and wanted to answer his prayer.
Another one of the groups a boy came up to the leader after and said, “I really didn’t know if God was real so I just told him in prayer as we sat down, “If you are real God they will chose my name?” Three Godly men in that group called out they heard that boys name, then the words of affirmation oh my what a gift to that boys heart.
The bow on the gift the Masculine Journey Radio team got the next day as we read the reviews the boys turned in, not some, but most of the boys said they heard from God for the first time. My favorite was Conner’s who said, “Father God, told the other people in the prayer group that I am not a failure.”
PRESENTATION WITHOUT DEMONSTRATION IS MERE CONVERSATION