Do you hear what God hears?

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If you consider what happens each Sunday during worship when the gathered Body has corporate prayer, then you come to realize that it isn’t just a time when one person speaks while everyone else is silent.  As one of those who regularly is charged with offering the pastoral prayer on behalf of the congregation, I know that what we hear is my voice, even with the occasional “shh” or cough.  But God, who hears what we cannot, the voice from within each one of us, hears a multiplicity of voices.  My voice speaking the prayer is instantly intermingled with the internal voices of every person, whether they are praying or not.  Their inner monologue is heard loud and clear by God.  For every person gathered in the pews, whether they simply echo my words, add their own prayer concerns, or have drifted into other realms of thought, are heard crisp and coherent by God.  God can make out the whisper of things we would never speak out loud, something that is too painful, too embarrassing, too intimate.  Somehow God is able to take in all of these voices heard simultaneously, and not hear a cacophony, but something more akin to a symphony.


(Image courtesy of ticketsinventory.com)

Each person, like a musical instrument, adds to the sound reverberating in the air, going up to the ear of God.  Like a master conductor, God can instantly identify each instrument and, not just hear, but comprehend.  What would surely sound atrocious to human ears, is beautiful to the Creator.  To hear the sound of your creation, to know that they are alive by presence of their voice, is like the joyful sound of a crying baby just born; it is indicative of life and that in itself is cause for celebration.  If that were not miraculous enough, God does not just hear us, but God responds.  Perhaps we expect something more like the applause of an audience after a performance, but God is not audience to our lives.  God is moving, at work, in our midst during corporate prayer.  God is already responding as the words or thoughts leave our being.  God isn’t reactionary, because God can anticipate and desires to actively be part of our being in this life.

So while we cannot hear as God does, the next time you’re sitting in worship for the prayer of the people know that God is listening, God is hearing all that is spoken and unspoken.  Every thought, like a musical note, is carried from your inner self to the Selfless Lord of All.  It does not matter to God the melody of the voice speaking, or the eloquence of the voice inside, but the intention of each of us.  You are part of a body of work that moves the Lord, brings peace to the Divine soul, and honors God in its mere existence.  When you are intentional about your part in corporate prayer, God is more than pleased to respond with a standing ovation.

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