Jonathan is from small town, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. After being an atheist for a time in his life, he came to realize God as a loving father, and decided to dedicate his life and use his experiences to help others know God on a much deeper level. One of the ways he aims to achieve this is with his recently released devotional, Whispers from God. Follow our chat below, and learn more about Jonathan’s inspiring story.
Miranda ~ Hello Jonathan! Honored to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Jonathan: I was born in the small town of Roanoke Rapids in North Carolina, and raised Baptist, even though I secretly was a self-ascribed atheist; I hid this from my family and friends. I struggled for a time to grasp the concept of an unconditional loving God. Right now, I’m dedicated to using my experiences to help those around me know God on a greater level.
Miranda ~ How did you become a Christian? Please tell us your story!
Jonathan: Like countless others, I was raised in the church environment with many common traditions. Being familiar with an altar call and a sinner’s prayer was nothing out of the ordinary. But true relationship with God became a real experience as a teenager, alone in a room, through an undeniable experience of God’s loving voice and sweet presence.
Miranda ~ Though born into a Christian family, you were secretly a self-ascribed atheist. What led you to become an atheist?
Jonathan: Not believing in God came from depression, disappointment, anger, and pure doubt in a higher being.
Miranda ~ You are now a creative teacher and a prayer warrior. What led you to this place and, how would you describe your experience as a prayer warrior?
Jonathan: I wouldn’t say that the publishing of this book has now given me the right to claim myself as a creative teacher or effective prayer warrior; but I will confidently say that having an open heart and teachable spirit has given me much wisdom and revelation which I have only become privy to because God uses life to teach us many things at different levels in our lives. Wants and desires may motivate us to pray, but pain and loss teach us how to pray effectively in an entirely different light. Regardless of how we feel about our hardships and difficulties, they are all designed to fit into the overall scheme of our pathway in life, which leads us to become stronger in our faith, prayer life, and overall, in offering our lives in worship to God. Every day and every moment in prayer is a genuine experience—just like learning how to crawl or ride a bike. My life prayer is, “Lord, teach me how to pray.” This is because the level on which I live and serve those around me changes as I grow. Therefore the level and reasoning for which I pray, and the reason why I pray, develop right along with everything else I’m connected and assigned to.
Miranda ~ Out of your journey with God, Whispers from God was born. What particular moment or incident first inspired you to create Whispers from God?
Jonathan: When God spoke to me and told me to stop throwing away what He told me, but instead, to record it and begin seeking His face daily, and only write that which is spoken to my heart by the Holy Spirit. The instruction was clear and unmistakable. God told me the purpose of the book and what it was meant to do for people who would need it. Thankfully, I have already received testimonies of people sharing how God has spoken to them in a very direct and personal way, just like God told me it would.
Miranda ~ Many Christians long to pray more but find themselves discouraged to do so because, certain circumstances have led them to believe that their prayers have gone unanswered. What encouragement do you have for someone like this?
Jonathan: Firstly, realizing God partners with our “decision” toward prayer. He never partners with our “feelings” toward prayer. That we “feel” we’ve done too much, or we aren’t as righteous as the next person, has nothing to do with God desiring to hear from us and communing with us. It’s not just our spiritual relationship with God that suffers based on feelings, but also our natural relationships with others from which we bring the overrated misconception that our feelings are a trustworthy source of credibility whereby we determine if something is good or effective. Discouragement does not hinder our words from touching the heart of God, but not praying will.
Miranda ~ How would you describe the experience of hearing from God? What’s it like?
Jonathan: God speaks through His Word, through songs, dreams, visions, ideas, other people, and so on. The problem isn’t that we don’t hear God, but more so that we have ignored Him for so long, we honestly believe He’s either not speaking or there’s something wrong with our hearing. Loud distractions, confusion, drama, and other hindrances will always find a way to present themselves. Learning how to silence life, minimize the confusion and evict any trace of drama is mandatory. The goal is to be still and exist only in the present moment that surrounds you, given by God Himself. This is when we are able to enjoy the voice of God that fills our lives.
Miranda ~ Some Christians confess that they’ve never heard from God. What encouragement do you have for someone like this?
Jonathan: The encouragement I would give them is that you’re not waiting for God to finally speak, but you should reflect and rediscover what God has already said. Again, many of us just don’t know that God is not limited to a set of lips like people are. God speaks through memories, talents, music, and so much more. Our lack of confidence, our over analytical minds and sometimes, just underestimating the simplicity of God, play a negative role in us, pushing us to second-guess and question what is right in front of us.
Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for—generally and right now?
Jonathan: Right now, I’m most grateful for a focused life and true friendship.
Miranda ~ What advice would you give to a person who believes God has called them to be a prayer warrior but is experiencing doubt and lacks the confidence to do this?
Jonathan: If you believe God has called you to prayer, simple tell God “Hey God, for some reason I feel like you have called me to prayer. Please show me in a way that I will know that this is true.” God has a good habit of giving confidence to those He gives assignments. He will not only provide the confidence to do it, but the purpose in why He wants you to do it. Satan is depending on you to stop because of fear, but the world is depending on you to live in spite of fear.
THIS or THAT (The fun Questions!)
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Boots or Snickers? Snickers
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Vegetables or Fruits? Fruits
Juice or Smoothie? Smoothie
Rain or Snow? Rain
Spring or Fall? Fall
Summer or Winter? Summer
T-shirt or Collar shirt? Collar shirt
Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner
Music or Movies? Music
Gym or Outdoor? Gym
Leather Jacket or Blazer? Blazer
Thank you, Jonathan, for visiting today!
Order a copy of Whispers from God devotional!
About Jonathan Long
Born in the small town of Roanoke Rapids in North Carolina, Jonathan Long was no stranger to the Southern Baptist culture that his community offered but secretly was a self ascribed atheist hidden from the awareness of all family and friends. From struggling to grasp the concept of an unconditional loving deity in the heavens, to sharing the many layers of his life and matters of the heart; Jonathan has vowed to dedicate his life to using his undeniable experiences to help thrust every heart and soul around him into a greater level of awareness of an ever present and ever loving Father who continues to prove himself as God.