Meditations by John Dean

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hearing the Voice of God

(Matthew 26:36 KJV) Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 

Whatever Jesus did He always did with purpose because He never stopped teaching or giving parable-type examples. In the case of our text He chose to go to the garden of Gethsemane to pray before His capture and crucifixion, rather than to the mountain as He customarily did.

Perhaps the reason He went to Gethsemane to pray rather than the mountain was because the mountain represented a place for receiving instruction (because He only did what He saw His Father doing), and the garden represented a place of bearing one’s soul.

I am not sure I ever thought about this before, but I suppose everyone has different places they pray for different reasons. For example, if one needs to have a true two-way conversation with God, then many times they will drive around in their car so that no one will hear their conversation. Another example...if one likes to whisper their prayer in a one way conversation with God then that can be done at an “alter” or walking slowly around the house or church. Others want to pray in a dark room because they feel totally alone without any distractions. Then there are others who like to “think” their prayers, even though I believe that form of praying is totally ineffective because the Bible says to “speak a thing and it will be established to you.”

Others enjoy praying in an atmosphere of music or even in the atmosphere of a beautiful flower garden because it makes them thankful and they want to praise God.

Back in 1949 I heard a song for the first time that put me in a mood to pray, even though I was not saved at that time. The lyrics of the song went like this.
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
and the melody that He gave to me within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him, though the night around me be falling,
but He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
(C. Austin Miles 1912)
Perhaps the composer of this song got the idea from meditating on our text. When I think of our text in conjunction with thinking of this old song, I seem to have similar emotions.

The point is, it is not where one prays that makes the difference…it is that we do pray and more importantly that we recognize the voice of all voices…and that is of our heavenly Father.

Thank You for showing us that You love to communicate with us regardless of where we pray. We also thank You Lord for showing us that just as Jesus had a garden in which to pour out His soul, it is also fine for us to have that special place to bear our own soul to You.

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