Letter from John Woodhouse

Dear friends

King David knew God as “you who hears prayer” (Psalm 65:2a). We do well to reflect on this important attribute of God. Just as God is almighty and pure, holy and loving, just and merciful, good and true, he is also one “who hears prayer.” That is what the God who is there is like. It is his nature to hear prayer.

Do you believe that about God?

How foolish we are when we fail to believe that God is as he is. Too easily our faith can slip into make-believe. We form in our minds some vague notions of our own imagination concerning what God is like, and fail to take into our hearts and minds the fullness of the God who has made himself known to us by his Word. He is one “who hears prayer”!

Is there anything more comforting and delightful to hear than this? And I ask again: Do you believe in the God “who hears prayer”?

David saw the sure consequence of this attribute of God: “to you shall all flesh come” (Psalm 65:2b). If there is a God “who hears prayer,” should we not expect people from every nation, tribe and language to come to him — that is, to pray to him? What a terrible paradox our world is. The God who made and owns all things hears prayer. And yet there are so very few of “all flesh” who actually pray.

It is of course an extraordinary kindness and mercy that God hears prayer. This is the character of God that has been made known to us in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we pray because of what God is like. If I believe that he is one “who hears prayer,” then I will pray. As I find myself slow and slack in my prayers, I need to reflect again and again on what God is like. As you pray today, perhaps you might begin with David’s words: “O you who hears prayer …”

John Woodhouse
Acting Senior Minister