• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Silence as worship: a practical idea.

Day aloneWhen I wrote about prayer and worship in one of my recent posts, Linda shared the following thoughts. I found them so helpful; I thought it would be worth passing them along to the larger community:

I have resonated with your recent “Thoughts Along The Journey.” Your short writings have stimulated some of the very issues that have been tumbling around in my mind and heart lately as I seek to deepen my relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. To think that we have complete access into the very throne room where our Lord resides; what an immense honor and privilege! I wanted to send along some ideas that have helped me personally as I come and “still” myself before the Lord. Most of the ideas come from the book, Alone With The Lord.

A day alone with the Lord enables us to live with integrity in community.” Dietrich Bonheoffer

Silence and Solitude will become the anchor and central feature of your time alone with the Lord. In time you will learn that silence bears fruit; and in silence you will meet and hear Christ, and will attend to the inner witness of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.

  • You need to find a quiet place to meet God where you will not be distracted or interrupted.
  • You need to avoid the temptation to interact with external interruptions, check your phone, text, or to read other materials.
  • You need to learn to be still even when it does not seem, at least immediately, to be worthwhile.
  • God is in the silence and He speaks in the silence. As you learn to be still you will cultivate the capacity to know and hear the One who loves you.
  • You need to intentionally quiet your heart and mind by gently turning from the noises around you, and the inner voices or “noises” in your heart; and to make a conscious and deliberate choice to be still before the Lord, your Maker and Redeemer.
  • You will need your Bible and a notebook to journal your thoughts as God speaks to you. For some it may be helpful to journal some of your prayers, so that you keep your mind from distraction.

Quite often when we intentionally set aside time to spend before the Lord, the enemy will barrage our mind with things we need to do or other disruptive thoughts. Keep a section in your journal in which you write these thoughts down. Do not engage them. After you have written them down, simply return to your time of quiet before the Lord.”

2 Responses

  1. I have so much to learn related to “silence as worship” I have hesitated to write my thoughts.

    So many missionaries have been led of the Lord to live among the people they are discipling in crowded conditions where there is neither silence nor uninterrupted solitude possible 24/7. In such a context how can one practice the presence of God in silence as worship? How does the missionary identifying with the people being reached while living among them in poor densely populated areas where there is constant noise and interruptions without ceasing?

    I believe the secret is finding by God’s grace “shalom” that does not depend on the surrounding circumstances of which the believer does not have much control. It is possible if the circumstances are right to have total silence and complete solitude and fail to have that shalom that is a supernatural gift from God. I believe that the shalom given by God produces the kind of silence that is required for worship.

    This silence is listening to God with the attitude expressed by Isaiah when he said, “Here am I, send me.” It is not mental passivity. It is contemplating on the attributes of God that gives us the “silence” of soul and inter shalom even with all the surrounding noise and activity. As the Bible instructs us we are to serve, i.e. worship, the Lord with all our mind. God never requires mental passivity as a condition of worship if I understand the Bible correctly.

    A number of years ago I was reading a book by a French professor of ethno-psychiatry Roger Bastide, La Crise de la Possession Religieuse. We would call all the case histories cited as the crisis of being demonized. In this book he states that in every case observed to date was preceded by a state of mental passivity. This observation by this unbelieving scholar seems to be in alignment with the teachings of the Bible.

    Therefore this “silence” must be actively being quiet before God listening to Him in a state of shalom as we meditate on how great our God is. God’s grace is sufficient for this even with all the unavoidable surrounding noise and hubbub.

    • It is encouraging that a ‘veteran’ like yourself would share how much you still have to learn in this area. It’s a demonstration of a life long learning posture! You raise a great question as to how we can find the silence needed in the midst of densely populated areas. Focusing one’s heart and minds on the attributes of God is a way to ‘slow us’ down in the busyness of all that is going on around us. Sometimes it takes breaking our normal routine to be able to give our energies to that focus.

      I have participated in a day of prayer in the middle of Hong Kong, amidst all the busyness, because the daily routine was broken and another was created which focused on the very thing you shared: who is this great God we serve!

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