If we really want to pray, we must first learn to listen: for in the silence of the heart, God speaks. And to be able to see that silence, to be able to hear God, we need a clean heart. Let us listen to God, to what He has to say. We cannot speak unless we have listened, unless we have made our connection with God. From the fullness of the heart, the mouth will speak, the mind will think. ~Mother Teresa
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11, 12 NLT)
Silence can be a frightening thing. What might we hear or learn about ourselves in the silence? One of the things we do in talking is adjust our appearance, to others and in our own minds. We justify and rationalize our thoughts and actions. Even, and especially, towards God. We can so easily talk, talk, talk, at Him without actually listening to Him. We hand Him our grocery list prayer requests, hopefully remember to say thank you, and then it’s a goodbye, talk soon, without giving God the chance to speak to our hearts and into our lives. To abandon that white noise is really major, so we just keep on jabbering out loud or in our mind’s self talk. In silence we surrender our control of where the conversation might go and what we may be forced to face.
I find so much truth in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words. “Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking when they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God, either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God, too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life.”
God is not in the noise of your life…I challenge you today to quiet your heart so that you may hear His whisper. It may be frightening and I can’t guarantee it will be painless but this whisper also brings with it hope and love and peace and rest. Today be still…cease striving. Do not be afraid in the silence, for in your quiet you will find God.