Ways of Practicing Silence

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10 ESV

Be Still and Know That He is God- Steven Curtis Chapman
https://youtu.be/BgaHaioAjyg

The “be still” in this Psalm in the Hebrew is raphah (raw-faw’) meaning: sink, relax. Doesn’t that just give you a picture of being nestled in Jesus’ arms?

I have made it a practice to do silence during the day when I am home. When I was growing up my mom always had the TV on in on the background even if she wasn’t watching it. Hubby does the same thing. I did, too, for much of our marriage. But now that I stay at home again, I have learned to enjoy the silence and the ability to hear God without the noise. I have also discovered there are other “noises” that are not audible – visual distractions and my thoughts. No wonder even Jesus needed to slip away to a desolate place of solitude to be alone with His/our Father.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Mark 1:35 ESV

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Luke 5:16 NLT

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Hillsong Worship
https://youtu.be/jR7r0Br_HNs

My own thoughts can be very distracting. I’ve learned to keep a pad of paper nearby to write down to-dos and other things that come to mind, so I can focus on the Lord. Also, I confess, I am not a great housekeeper and my home can become cluttered quickly. But it also makes the environment very stressful. I never know where to start to clean it up and put it away, which is also stressful, so it sits a long time. Anyway, that can be very distracting to being still in God’s presence and hearing His voice. I can sometimes tune it all out, but other times I just feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I find it easier to have my “silence” in a restaurant or coffee shop with music and people talking in the background, than I can a completely silent apartment with the chores screaming at me.
Sometimes the environment I have created gets the better of me and I can’t seem to connect to the Lord at all. Lord help me, I need to get a handle on this!

Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.
Psalm 141:3 NLT

He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from distress.
Psalm 21:23 BSB*

May the Words of My Mouth – Internation Chapel of Vienna
https://youtu.be/w5JOFclZUpc

As far as silence where other people are concerned, yes I have been learning to edit myself (my words, attitude, and behavior), with Holy Spirit’s help. Most of the time I do pretty well now. Not so much “foot-in-mouth- disease” going on anymore. And when it does happen it’s more often with an attitude of good intentions instead of anger, and I have learned to apologize instead of being stubborn. A lot of the time I can just say nothing if it’s something petty and really doesn’t need to be mentioned. If something needs to be said, I have been learning to listen to the Holy Spirit and seek His wisdom for words and timing, so not only am I not responding in anger, but it will be a time when the other person is prepared to hear and discuss.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
Psalm 32:7 ESV

For surely You, O LORD, bless the righteous; You surround them with the shield of your favor.
Psalm 5:12 BSB*

You Are My Hiding Place – Selah
https://youtu.be/ElVC6rfX3Z8

As far as retreating with the Lord goes, I do have a favorite retreat center that I try to do a personal weekend retreat about once a year or so. Sometimes I just take a day and go off to a park, walk, sit, talk (pray), journal – spending the day with the Lord. When that’s not possible I will spend an extended period of 2-3 hours in a coffee shop or a calm corner of our home with the Bible, coffee or tea, maybe a snack, and my journal. I seriously think Miss Clara in the “War Room” movie had the right idea about a prayer closet. In the Bible, too, Jesus said, “…go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray…” (Matthew 6:6).

Silence is wonderful, once we acclimate to it and it it’s one of God’s greatest desires for us to have that refreshing time with Him. It’s something we are unfortunately not taught. We even teach new moms to let their babies become accustomed to the household noises while sleeping. But we all need silence: time to listen to the voice of the Lord, soak in His presence, time to think and pray about our responses to life situations, and time to just “be” without all the “noise” of this world, so we can practicing being citizens of God’s kingdom.

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
Ephesians 2:29 NLT

14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.a 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
John 17:14-17 ESV

How do you practice silence in your life?

Blessings of Hope & Joy,

Julia

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*BSB is the Berean Study Bible

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