Image by Mara ~earth light~ via Flickr
Too often I rush into my prayers. Listing my perceived needs and coveted wants to God like putting coins in a vending machine.
I do add some praise. I pause for a moment of gratitude. I really try to worship.
But noise fills up all the nooks and crannies of my prayers.
Mother Teresa’s words stopped me cold when I read them the other day:
The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.
Silence is the first step – the critical element that we can’t miss.
Many of you know the verse from Psalm 46:10: Be Still and Know I am God.
I have begun using this at the beginning of my prayers. Repeating it slowly with silence in between, dropping a word each time from the ending.
Be Still and Know I am God.
Be Still and Know I am.
Be Still and Know.
This simple mantra quiets the chattiness in my mind and brings me silently into God’s presence. The focus shifts from me- me-me to eyes only on Him.
We are bombarded with so much noise from the world and clamor from media – all distracting us from hearing God. Creating a space in my life for God begins with silence.
Did you know just about every faith tradition not only values silence, but stresses for true heart transformation the practice of silence is essential?
I have attended silent retreats and hunger to go on one again this coming spring. But I also feel a call to intentionally practice silence everyday, pausing briefly as I switch from one chore to another, stilling my heart and turning to God. I couldn’t survive only drinking water once a year while on retreat – no, I need sips throughout the day to thrive.
A couple more thoughts about silence:
Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God. — Thomas Keating
Nothing in the universe resembles God more than silence. Meister Eckhart
What role has silence played in your spiritual development?
I crave silence! I do not feel like I get enough!
Jeanie, this is so needed, especially for this time of the year. You know, when I’m silent, God gets a chance to speak.
Jean Wise says
I think we all fight the ‘monkey brain” as it is called and know it is easier for me to find some silence in an empty house when everyone is gone. But the call to silence is strong in our hearts and I think we must be intentionally to respond to it.
Michelle DeRusha says
I absolutely have to try that Be Still mantra, Jean. I was just telling my son Noah seconds ago that when I pray I am easily distracted and often end up thinking of something else or going off on a tangent. He laughed, but I think it made him feel better that it happens to someone else, too.
love it…and in a house of 7kids I think silence would be awesome once in awhile…must be why I need to go out to hear Him.
Thanks for the kind words on my blog.
I am glad you went out and found me, lol!
Jean Wise says
What you are sharing is beautiful. Seems like silence is calling many of us into its fold.
Victor S E Moubarak says
Great post. Thank you.
I remember before I became a Christian, I would often catch my beloved Mum (now with the Lord), sitting quietly contemplating.
I would ask her what she was doing – I always found it strange, when she would answer, ‘listening to the Lord’.
I thank God, as I now do the same myself. As it is in the stillness, I receive clear direction from my heavenly Father and it is sooo exciting!
I love this post, great start to the new month Jean.
Phather Phil Malmstrom says
Beautiful thoughts Jean, and a very important point. I’ve taken to getting up about 45 minutes earlier each morning to have that Stillness that I need to hear God’s voice, and it’s been a wonderful way to begin the day.
Have a Blessed Day!
Rhonda Schrock says
I love that verse, “Be still…” The Lord’s been bringing it to my mind again recently. It’s no mistake, I’m sure. And now you’ve reminded me again. Will be thinking on this today. Thanks!