When You Pray, do You Expect God to Speak Back?

When You Pray, do You Expect God to Speak Back?

Lily Tomlin the comedian once said; “When we talk to God we are praying, when God talks to us, we are schizophrenic!”

I’ve always thought it was illogical to pray if we don’t expect God to literally answer back. If we’re praying, it stands to reason we should expect to receive an answer. Yet so many Christians are content to live their lives rarely hearing God’s voice or even not at all.

I remember sitting in a small group Bible study once. We were sharing our experiences of God speaking. One person told a story when they first met Jesus ten years before. Another shared a conversation from five years earlier. You have to wonder how any relationship can sustain that kind of communication. If our conversations with God are so sporadic, what does that say about the kind of relationship we have with him?

Expectation is important here. If we understand that by his very nature, God is a communicating God, we will expect him to answer. If we know that the Holy Spirit was given to us that we may hear from God regularly, we will listen for his voice. The Creator God is known for his desire to know and be known. Watch here:


Or read below:

Many years ago I was sightseeing at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. It was late in the day and our guide led us through the temples to a small shrine. In the corner was a stone statue sitting on a stand with an array of brightly coloured flowers scattered around it. We watched as a lady approached, lowering her eyes and bowing reverently on the prayer mat. Then she reached forward and with a great deal of effort tried to lift the statue above her head. What was she doing? Our guide explained; she had come to ask the gods a question. The answer was ‘yes’ if she could lift the statue. ‘No’ if she could not.

I wondered if the lady got the answer that she wanted.

We all have our questions. But when we ask God, do we expect him to speak back?

The Bible says that God is not struck mute in stone. In fact his ability to speak is one quality that sets him apart from other gods. He has eyes to see, ears to hear and a mouth that speaks.

He is a talking God. We see it all the way through biblical history; speaking with Adam and Eve in the Garden; having conversations with Moses at the top of a smoking mountain; telling prophets about the future, giving revelations to the apostles. We read; “And God said” so often in Scripture that we almost overlook its significance.

God loves to speak! It has always been his intention to have a two-way conversation with us. That’s because he’s passionate about knowing us and being known by us.

This excerpt is from The Other Side of the Conversation Series currently airing on Shine TV in New Zealand and available at Koorong (Aust), Manna bookstores (NZ) and at godconversations.com.

Use this webisode as a conversation starter in your small groups:

READ: Psalm 115:4-7

CONNECT: Who do you go to when you have a decision to make?

THINK: What does God’s ability to speak show us about his nature?

APPLY: If you could ask God one question today, what would it be?

We’d love to hear your thoughts at the blog!

Ever wonder how often God speaks? Is it on rare occasions or does God speak every day? Listen to the podcast: How Often Should You Expect God to Speak to You? for some thoughts that will guide your expectation.

With great anticipation that God will speak to you this week!

Tania - signature



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