The listening God - Hope 103.2

The listening God

By David ReayFriday 19 Aug 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Malachi 3:16

16 Then those who revered the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name. (NRSV)

Many of us are familiar with John 3:16, but Malachi 3:16 doesn’t get much attention. Let’s remedy that! At first glance this seems an innocuous verse. A group of God-fearing people writing a list of fellow God-fearers.

But it is interesting that this group of people were not actually praying to God and yet God listened to them. We usually mention the fact that God listens when we are speaking on prayer. Indeed he does listen to our prayers. But it seems he also listens to our conversations. In other words, we can ‘pray’ without praying.

Sometimes we think that we can only get God’s attention by framing words in the form of prayer. Yet our everyday conversations are heard by God, which is both encouraging and disturbing! When we meet with other Christians, for example, we might converse about various issues without realising God has heard our conversation.

And when we are in those prayer groups which spend so much time on sharing prayer points that they do little ‘praying’, perhaps we ought not get too worried. God has been hearing what is on our hearts anyway: he doesn’t just switch on when we announce it is time to pray.

Of course we set aside time to intentionally seek God and praise God in prayer. But all our words are heard by him whether we conclude with an ‘amen’ or not.

David Reay

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