I recently discovered Bill Hybels after a recommendation from a dear friend I can’t believe it has taken me this long. The man can deliver some power through those pages with a particular sense of humour (which I happen to appreciate). In these two books that I have read by him, he addresses some of the basic principles of Christianity, but I couldn’t put the books down as every page I was blown away by the revelation. In these two books, Bill essentially addresses communication with God. That intimate personal communication you have from having a close personal relationship with God.
In “Too busy not to pray” he breaks down prayer and why it is so important in our lives. For years I struggled with the question; why I had to pray? Knowing that God was omniscience and he knew exactly what I needed even before I asked and if indeed I needed or rather wanted that thing. Why did he need a reminder, was it because he was too busy? I mean I said my prayers but sometimes I’d just give up half way and say God, you know what I’m going to say, do I have to say it again? Especially given my prayer hasn’t changed from yesterday. Do we have to go through this routing again?
Reading Bill’s book so much about prayer made sense. Its all about your relationship with God, your loving father. Any relationship dies without communication. Above all God wants a relationship with you, so yes your prayers do not have to be formal rehearsed lines, he just wants to talk to you. That revelation changed my prayer life. Prayer is not a tick box exercise, same way talking to people you love and want to talk to is. Prayer is your special time to talk to God, let him know how great you think he is, your hearts desires, basically anything. The books covers a lot but for me that was the main take away. He also tries to give you a structure of prayer based on the Lord’s prayer if you just don’t know how you think you should pray. I honestly feel this book is relevant to the new believer and those who have been on this journey for years.
In “The Power of a Whisper”, Bill switches the script to God talking to us. Have you ever wondered what most people mean by “God told me” or “God revealed to me”? I understand the uncertainty to hearing the voice of God and I’m not sure it ever completely goes away. In this book Bill tries to get you to respond to the whisper of God, because God is constantly talking to us. For most the reason we do nothing when God speaks is because we doubt that God actually spoke to us, or we’re just to terrified to do what God asks of us. This book has a number of beautiful moments where God speaks and when people have the courage to follow the prompting of God, amazing things happen. And this all starts with just following the whisper of God. He even gives some help in trying to discern if what you hear is actually from God.
This book made me realise that God’s promptings are not always grand suggestions, but can be gentle nudges to do something small,take a left turn instead of right and as always there is a reason behind it. This book inspired me to tune my ear to what God is constantly whispering and it is truly beautiful how simple things can make your day, or someone else’s. Prior to reading this book, I’d never actually thought about God speaking into my everyday life, in the little things I did. I thought he was too busy and would probably send an occasional word if someone needed saving or something that significant. I have come to the realisation that nothing in our lives is too mundane for God, he cares and he will speak, if only we listened.
There were so many take aways from these two books, that I feel most of us overlook on our journeys. These books are worth a try and see if they do not edify your two way communication with God!