"Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him," Ps 37:7
At our home group this week we were asked to read this psalm and pick out verses which we felt spoke to us as individuals. This was the verse I chose, but I was surprised by the almost universal comments that being silent before God was something people found difficult.
A Discipline To Be Learned
Being silent before God is not an optional extra in our prayer lives. We are instructed several times in Scripture to do this, to "be still and know that I am God," (Psalm 46:10).
For many of us it is not something which comes naturally, it is a skill which has to be learned through practice. It takes time, which we all know is at a premium. But most of us do have the time to devote to this if we choose:
We can turn off the TV for an hour;
We can go to bed earlier and get up earlier;
We can use our lunch break.
We find time for the things we really want to do, we can find time to learn to be still before God.
We should be willing to be still before God simply because it is what He asks of us. But there are benefits to us.
Firstly, we get to know the Lord in a more deeply personal way. People falling in love tend to spend an inordinate amount of time gazing into one another's eyes. They do not consider this as wasted time. It is part of the bonding process. In the same way, being still and gazing upon the Lord brings us closer to Him.
Secondly, we learn the sound of His voice as He whispers into our soul. His is a still, small voice (1 Kng 19:12) and we cannot hope to hear it if our own voice is clamouring in our ears. One of the mistakes people make in seeking guidance is that they look for signs (fine in so far as it goes - Matt 12:39) but neglect to listen to the voice of God.
Thirdly, it is the most refreshing and restorative experience we can have. Being still before God allows Him to touch and heal the hurting places in our hearts and minds. When we are still before Him and He "unveils Himself," to quote from Andrew Murray, we see Him as He is - almighty God, king of creation, the One against whom no-one can stand - and ourselves as we are, His beloved children. All the stresses and strains of our lives are put into perspective as we recognise His authority in our lives.
Prayer College Assignment
Take a few moments every day this week to be still, fix your eyes on Jesus, and tell Him you love Him.