Friday, September 7, 2007


My 3 year old daughter and I are home alone for the weekend - mom went away with the ladies of the family to the Women of Faith conference. So we were driving to pick up dinner (I said mom was away right?) and out of the blue she asks me "Dad, how come when I pray I don't hear God's voice?" Are you kidding me? This girl is 3 years old! It's funny how God places these moments in my life. I'm currently reading Kyle Lake's [re]Understanding Prayer. All summer long I've been learning and thinking about prayer. We've started a new prayer gathering that meets weekly. I'm in the middle of a teaching series on prayer based on James 5:16. I've been answering a lot of questions about prayer, and yet none as tough as the one that came from the mouth of a 3 year old.

Yet isn't that a question we all ask sometimes? Why don't we hear God's voice? I know I've asked the question. I've had the question asked of me. I've tried to answer it by quoting Scripture, waving my hands, using big words, and referring people to books. And yet, when you strip all of that away, and you break it down to the level of a three year old, what do you say? You keep it simple.

You start with "I don't know." That's a pretty freeing statement to be honest. There's a mystery to it that can't be explained. I know there are explanations, but in the end it's all a mystery. I love that about God. I can't figure him out, I don't know how He works. Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (NIV). As much as I want to give my daughter concrete answers, I have to start with the fact that I don't know.

But in spite of the fact that I don't know, I am confident of the fact that God does speak to His children. I told her the story of Samuel, who continually hears the voice of God and doesn't know it is God. He thinks it is Eli. The thing about Samuel is that though he had never heard the voice of God before, he was in a place where he would be able to hear Him when He did speak. He was with the Ark of God. I wonder if that is part of the problem. How many of us want to hear the voice of God, but want Him to speak on our terms? How are we preparing ourselves to hear His voice? Anyway, she liked that story, and it seemed to help her a bit. I told her that she should never stop listening for God's voice. I told her that she needs to keep talking to God and that He will talk to her, and eventually she will hear his voice. The thing about God's voice is that it doesn't sound like other voices. It's often described as a still, small voice. I tried to explain it to her as a voice you hear on the inside.

I've always assumed that the thoughts of a three year old centered around Dora the Explorer, chicken nuggets, and coloring books. And yet today I have to believe that the question that came from her heart can only mean one thing - God is already speaking to her.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More