Yesterday I had the privilege of driving from Laguna Hills to Long Beach. I made the decision to turn off the radio (I was in my dad’s car so I had XM. Yeah, I know. I turned off XM…It makes me a little sad, too.) I committed to praying all the way into LBC last night, and you know what? It was amazing. I was able to spend significant time in prayer for people that aren’t always on my prayer lists, but people who need it just the same. Prayer is an overlooked discipline in these DSL, T-1, cell phone, PS2, MySpace times.
Another overlooked discipline is the discipline of silence. That’s something that’s really hard for my ADD mind to deal with. I always have issues with trying to keep my mind quiet. And I think just being in quiet, without the radio or TV is difficult too. Because while it’s in the quiet that God speaks, it’s also in the quiet that Satan attacks. So here’s my recommendation: Pray first for others, then for yourself. Ask God to show you when your mind strays and ask Him to speak to you. Then you’ll be prepared for silence.
I asked God to speak to me, and He told me “I love you.”
What will God speak to your heart in the silence?
“He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” ”
Other translations say that it was a “Still, small voice” that spoke to Elijah. Still others say that it was a “whisper.” In any event, Elijah would never have heard God over the wind or fire or earthquake. But once those had passed, Elijah was able to hear the voice of the Lord. Elijah first prayed, and then God came in the quiet aftermath.
First, we must pray. Amid all the distractions of life, we must commit to praying. If you think you can’t set aside time to pray, think again. I spend hours each week commuting from YL to LBC to La Habra. Those hours can be spent listening to the radio, or CD’s, or talking on my cell phone. Or those hours can be spent talking with God and listening to Him in the (relative) silence of my Hyundai. The same is true with you. There are times to pray; God will reveal those to you.
Second, we must listen. That means you’ll have to shut up. Stop thinking about your schedule, that cute guy in the lane next to you, that new CD you have your eye on, and be still. Quieting your mind is easier said than done, but well worth the effort. When you commit to quietness, God will speak to you. It can be as simple as an affirmation of His love for you, or as complex as the mysteries of the universe, but one thing is most important. God is speaking to you. It’s in times of silence like these that God shows you a little more of who He is. Through the study of His Word and listening for His whisper you will come to a higher place of praise, a deeper knowledge of who He is.
So I challenge you to stop. Pray. Listen.
And find out what God will say to you.