Step number two, after you have God’s attention by Him getting your attention, you have closed the world out, and entered into your closet, and pulled the curtains around you. Now, it’s you and God, with the world outside, and suddenly you feel an attitude come over you. An atmosphere surrounds you.
By Verbal Bean
Oh Lord, Hear: Oh Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not. (Daniel 9:19)
The first step in approaching God is, “Oh God, hear me.” Does it seem strange to you that he says “hear,” and then says, “hearken?” Realize there’s such a thing as hearing with hearkening. I could tell one of you to do a certain thing. You heard me, but you didn’t hearken unto me; there’s a difference. It seems a little technical to mention this in prayer, but it’s important. If you could learn this I’ll guarantee you’ll start seeing some answers shortly, of things you want from the Lord.
“Oh Lord, hear me.” That simply means, “God, let me get your attention.” You need his attention before you can get an answer from him. How do I get his attention? Write this down, because I want you to get this if you don’t get anything else. “Hear me, Lord, let me get your attention.”
How do I get God’s attention? To get His attention is for Him to get your attention! When He has your attention, you have His attention. A divided mind, a scattered thought, a casual approach with your mind running about forty miles an hour; you’re not going to touch God or get His attention. Your approach to God must be with a singleness of heart, a single eye. It has to be that way. God will not accept it any other way.
Your example in the Old Testament is where the priest went into the holy place, and veils were all around him. He could not see outside; he was enclosed.
When thou prayest, enter into thy closet. (Matthew 6:6)
That doesn’t mean go into the clothes closet. It means get everything else shut out. Have you ever knelt to pray with several things on your mind? Did you get through to God that way? You can’t. God won’t accept it. “Oh Lord, hear, I want your attention.” The best way to get His attention is for Him to have your undivided attention. Pull the curtains around you, get in your closet, shut the world out, and you’re about to get a hold of God! That’s when you may begin to feel a little Spirit moving over you. Man, that makes it easier to pray.
You have his attention, but just because you felt God, and here’s a tremendous mistake of both preachers and saints (if you ever preach on prayer, stress this point). Sometimes, people kneel to pray just to feel God, and the minute they feel Him, up, they’re gone! “Somebody said I needed to pray until I touched Him, and I just touched Him, now I’m in a hurry.” You’ve just reached the place to pray.” The song says, “Pray until you pray, and then you can pray the clouds away.” Pray until you touch God, and now, man, that’s no time to leave! God can be absorbed!