Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).

Last summer, my friend Leslie Berens’ son Ricky won an Olympic gold medal in swimming.  He trained hard, month after month after month.  The odds of winning Olympic gold are so small you’d stand a better chance of getting struck by lightening!  This summer Ricky brought home another gold medal from the World Champs in Barcelona.  Amazing.

But the pathway to a swimmer’s success is grueling.   Swimmers carve their own unique culture out of mornings.  Up at 4:15.  Breakfast and out the door  to be in the water by 5am.  I know the drill well, for our youngest son Michael is a swimmer.  Swimmers press on through exhaustion and pain for one reason: they know their race.  Do you know yours?

My personal race is the race of faith.   Paul calls it, “the race marked out for us.”  Daily, I train my heart to hear God’s voice through prayer and God’s Word.   Hearing and responding to God’s voice is my priority.   Maybe that’s your race, too.

But have you figured out that not every voice you hear in your head is from God?  Especially in our busy, noisy world. Maybe you’re eager for practical ways to hear God’s voice and pray with greater power.

If so, I hope you’ll join me  for a 40-Day Challenge beginning next Sunday, September 1st.   I’ll be your “prayer coach” for this series, sharing the six-step prayer method from my book Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.  

I’ll also post a blog each Sunday giving  practical tips to help you experience more power in prayer.  Sometimes we’re ineffective in prayer because of some often-overlooked roadblocks.

Training TIp: For example, I found one of my major roadblocks to prayer to be the failure to be alert.  Sounds simple? Yet how many of us sleepwalk through life, numb to God’s voice?   The Bible reminds us in 1 Peter 4:7 to “be alert and self controlled for the purpose of prayer.”  What keeps you from being alert?  Too much food, computer time, mindless conversation, wine? Maybe you are just plain too busy.

Take a few days to prepare for our 40-Day Challenge.  Gather your tools:  A Bible, a notebook or journal, some 3×5 index cards (I like the wirebound version), and a copy of Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.

And as we prepare for our launch,  I encourage you to give some thought to becoming more alert.  Reflect on this question:  What gets in the way of hearing God’s voice?

Hope you’ll join me to seek God together.  Let’s expect Him to change the world–both our personal world and the world around us!

See you next Sunday, September 1st for our 40-Day Challenge!

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