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Communicating with God

Published: 4th January 2024

Mark BadgerAn article for February editions of parish magazines, from the Archdeacon of Worcester, Mark Badger.

Part of our calling as Christians is to constantly examine and deepen our relationship with ourselves, the Gospel and with God, I suppose you could say to continually develop our communication skills.  You could say that God is the most effective communicator there is, because if we are tuned in right – God can communicate to us through everything that exists.  The Jewish writer Martin Buber points this out in his book I and Thou, he wrote that ‘every ‘’thou’’ is a gateway through to the Eternal Thou’ – for him a tree was just as much a ‘thou’ as a cat or a human being.

The traditional Christian word for the communication between God and human beings is of course Prayer.  But so often we find it hard to pray, particularly in the light of all the world’s problems! So how do we do it?  What do we say? 

I’m reminded of a tale I heard about and old man who has gone into the local church each and every day for many years, not a religious man, yet without fail he was there.  One day his mate says to him.

Ere Alf, what do ya when ya goes into Church?

He says – I pray

What do ya say

He says, I don’t say nothin

What do ya do then? 

Well – I just sits there and looks at im and he looks at me,

Unknowingly that old man had a very special prayer life- one based on giving time to gaze and listen.  

When we get right down to it, prayer is not about place, posture or eloquence.  Prayer is essentially about being together with God and if our relationship with God is to grow, then just as in our earthly relationships, we need to make time to be in God’s presence and of course we need to listen!

This making time and taking time to listen is at the heart of our Christian discipleship and there have been many tomes written in order to help Christians to make time, to listen and to pray.  One writer of such books is Sister Lavinia Byrne. ‘Listening is all’ she says; ‘and we can listen anywhere, in stillness or in the reality of the business of everyday life.  But listen!’

Page last updated: Thursday 4th January 2024 2:04 PM

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