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Listening to God, Part 1: Music

Growing our relationship with God by putting our ears where they can hear.

I took a quick trip up to Boston in May to hear my daughter Elizabeth’s college choir concert. Listening to 70 voices sing Haydn’s Creation, I realized that the missing link in my spiritual life is hearing “Glory to His name forever” in four-part harmony, with orchestra, each evening! 

Music can be an important part of devotion. It pulls our hearts in directions words can’t take us, stretching our spirits outside the octave in which they usually function. It sharpens our ability to hear. Which is good, since any relationship—whether with God or with people—has as much to do with listening as talking. 

At Elizabeth’s concert I noticed how differently I respond to music when I’m in a concert hall than when I’m cleaning the house. The same melody played on the stereo is merely background music; to truly pay attention, I need to place myself in the midst of it. Which is why, perhaps, my prayer life grows when I begin my devotions by consciously placing myself in God’s presence:

Lord, I am all yours. I am here now to be with You. I want to know Your voice. Teach me to be among those who have ears to hear.

God is with us always, but we will hear Him more clearly when we choose to put Him in the foreground.

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