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“Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation.” – Thomas Keating


Listen to my song “Turn Off the Noise” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

Support my ministry by purchasing my songs and books at the links following the scripture reflection. Thank you!


Jeremiah 7:23

This is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people.


If I had to pick the one thing in my spiritual practice that changed my life for the better and continues to do so, it would be contemplative prayer.

Growing up, there was virtually no mention of such prayer.

All praying was reciting words that were written by others.

Not that that type of prayer is bad, it just leaves out a whole other dimension.

It also seems to completely miss what Jesus specifically taught his followers on this matter: “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:6-8).

Since there really wasn’t such a thing as an “inner room” in most of the homes of his day, one can readily realize that Jesus was talking about the interior room of your soul.

He gives us the important insight that God already knows what you need.

How many times do we think we know exactly what he need only to later be thankful it didn’t happen that way?

I’m reminded of these lyrics to an old Garth Brooks’ song: “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

Our prayers may shed light on our image of God.

Do we need to twist God’s arm, so to speak, to get something we want?

Or does God, like a loving parent, know what’s best for us?

Jesus instructs us to listen, the same instruction that God gives through the prophet Jeremiah in today’s verse.

For me, making listening a regular prayer practice over 20 years ago coincided with the turnaround in my life that redirected me to a much more joyous and fulfilling existence.

Centering Prayer, in particular, remains my twice-a-day practice.

It’s a way of literally letting go and letting God.

It’s a way of practicing Jesus’ words to God, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

It’s a way of practicing dying in order to experience new life in this time and place.

As Jesus put it: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, in produces much fruit” (John 12:24).

Set aside some time in your day to let go of your mind’s addictive pattern of non-stop thoughts.

Let go and listen.

Just be.

New life is beginning!


Listen to the song of the day “Turn Off the Noise” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Purchase my new book “Listen to Your Heart: A Daily Devotional of Calling, Purpose and New Life” on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Purchase my book “Mercy Reigns: A Daily Devotional of Compassion, Comfort and Healing” on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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