Prayer Thought: The Sound of Silence
“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.”
– Sir Francis Bacon
I have often wondered what the Israelites did, thought, and felt during the 400 years of silence between the end of Malachi and the pronouncement that FINALLY God spoke again…and He did it in monumental form, we might add. Afterall, the coming Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, after 14 generations came on the scene. Wow, incredible!
But what about the 4 centuries of silence before that? That’s an awfully long time to wait for God to say something. That’s roughly equivalent to 10 more of my whole lifetimes! And in that silence, there had to be God-fearing people in each of those generations who faithfully passed down the true stories and history of God’s chosen people decade after decade. If not, no one would be expecting the Messiah in the first place…and, chances are, we wouldn’t even be here.
This idea of silence has captivated me as I go to the Lord in prayer. What if He doesn’t say anything in the first 5 minutes? I wonder if He hears me in my silence? How long is long enough to wait for answers? I realize some of these questions seem generic and easy to answer for those of us who have believed for long periods of time. Of course He hears me. Of course He answers. Of course I’m to be patience in my asking. But what about just being silent in His presence? Not as easy in our world anymore as one might think!
But this idea of present silence with the King is paramount to our spiritual maturity. No surprise that Ps. 46:10 may come to mind…”Be still and know that I am God…” Yet, we need to know and experience how to do this. Do it often. Do it well. Do it in hope, expecting our spiritual fervor to increase.
Each day this week spend 7-10 minutes in silence before the Lord. Don’t try to automatically get something out of it. If the Lord decides to act and speak through His Word in your silence, awesome. But all I want you to focus on is being IN His presence, blocking out every other distraction. It may help to clear your heart and mind by reading a Psalm first or another passage of Scripture that reminds you of God’s glory and character. Let’s start getting more comfortable in the silence.
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer