But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Matthew 6:6 NLT
“The Sound of Silence” was written by Paul Simon of the duo Simon and Garfunkle over a period of several months between 1963 and 1964. In 1966, the song—which tells of a man who failed to communicate, hit number one on the Billboard 100.
Though silence can have damaging effects, it can also be golden. After teaching 50 plus middle school students each day, I’m ready for silence when I get home. Following an end of first-semester party for our middle schoolers at the local bowling alley—one my wife attended with me, my wife now understands why I want silence when I come home from work.
Jesus thought a great deal of silence also. He was constantly mobbed by people who wanted to hear Him teach, see Him perform miracles, or do something for them personally. Along with those who wanted something were the religious hound dogs who were constantly looking for some reason to arrest and even kill Him. Getting away by Himself or with His disciples was essential for maintaining His and their sanity. It is for mine also.
A little white noise is good. My wife and I sleep with fans blowing. When there is complete silence, we can’t sleep. But the other types of noises that often characterize a day—loud voices, machines, vehicles, horns, train whistles, screaming kids, shouting customers, television shows, and internet voices—can drown out the most important voice I need to hear.
While God can speak in the midst of noise, I’m more apt not to hear Him when noise abounds. Jesus says I need to get in my prayer closet—whether I take that literally or not.
Silence helps me focus. Not only do I want to hear God’s voice, but I also want to focus on what He’s saying. I need to hear Him clearly so I can think soberly. Silence is necessary for accomplishing this task.
When I can hear God unmistakably and focus on what He’s saying, it makes obedience much easier. And when I obey, peace follows. Peace in life is reached when I submit to God’s will and follow it completely and consistently. Anything less will produce noise in my life.
Find a place and time where you can be daily silent before God.
Prayer: Father, we long for silence so we can hear Your Spirit speak clearly to our spirits.
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