Seeking The Silence
By: Chris Ray
How often in your life do you find yourself doing the same thing over and over and over again, with the thought that by doing the task more than once it might grant you a different outcome than the first? Albert Einstein spoke on this matter, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I believe that he may have a point. After all, he seems like a bright guy. If his definition of insanity is true, then I would appear to be insane. I do not believe, however, that I am alone. I can find many areas in my life that, if this definition were to be applied, I would be crowned royalty in the courts of the insane. Out of all the crazy areas in my life, there is one specific place that my insanity persists, my prayer life.
It was not too long ago, when I was in high school, that my prayer life began to take on a certain rhythm. I did my best to follow the advice of someone to make everything I did through the day a prayer. In between classes I would pray, before my meals I prayed and even when I brushed my teeth I would pray. “Hail Mary full of grace bless me as I brush my face.” I actually never said that, though it is catchy. These prayers throughout the day were very helpful in keeping me mindful of God’s grace in my day to day, but I can see now that these prayers were insufficient, lacking something. My prayer was wrapped up in hurried habits. I took these rushed habits of prayer with me into what should be more solemn moments of prayer. All the time that I spent with God was hurried. I would do all the talking. Get in, get out and get on with my day. This is not the way we were created to act. If you consider prayer a means to a relationship with God, then I would be considered a bad friend. According to my style of prayer, or communication with God, I am that guy who comes around when I need lunch money, or that guy who always talks never giving the other person a chance join the conversation.
Silence feels unnatural. Just about everyone can relate to when we are in the presence of silence we can feel uncomfortable. Our natural inclination is to fill the silence with something, anything. I can relate to this. When I am home alone I’ll often leave the TV on just so there is noise. When I prayed, I would ceaselessly talk to God. I would not give God the time to speak to me. I need to shed myself of the unnatural feeling of silence and know that God desires my silence. Psalm 46:11, inspires me when I come into contact with it, “Be still and know I am God…” and, when I read in 1 Kings 19:11-12 about Elisha seeking God’s voice, I should know that God will speak very powerfully when I am silent. When I take time to pray now, I listen in silence for God’s voice. Through that my praise and gratitude is more sincere, my repentance is more honest and my petitions are more focused on receiving what God is wanting me to receive. When silence is present, and I allow God the time to speak to my heart there is no telling the ways in which Christ can move me in holiness.
A Helpful Guide For Your Prayer Time
*Keep a journal and a Bible near you. God will use them through writing your thoughts and prayers and He is always present in the Word.*
- Invite God into your prayer time
- Thank God for everythingyou can think of
- Family, friends, where you live, your joy, your hardships, your weakness, your strengths, the events throughout your day, etc…
- Intercede for people who need prayer
- Ask for what you need and for the grace to receive what he has for you
- Be in Silence and allow God the time to speak and heal you
“If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed in the modern world, how could one hear it with so much noise? Therefore, create silence.”