"Be Still and Know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
God knows who we are and wants us to know who He is. This small scripture has a big message. It
reveals that first of all God wants us to know Him, that it's possible to know Him, and finally tells us how we can come to know Him. In a new way, let's revisit our prayer life and explore what it means to
"Be Still" in silent prayer.
Silent prayer - What is it?
All prayer is Good! Prayer is the means by which we communicate with God. Through prayer we acknowledge God as our Creator, and appreciate and honor His Goodness. In Jesus' name, we thank The Father for all that He has given us, we ask for help for our loved ones and we also ask for ourselves ... and it's ok to ask for ourselves! But then there is this intimate prayer, a unique form of prayer that doesn't take the place of vocal prayer, but only adds to it. In this type of meditative or contemplative prayer, we unite ourselves more closely with God and are more receptive to listening rather than speaking. We are not only seeking His voice in our hearts but longing to hear His voice in our lives, showing us the way as He provides us the graces we need to follow our path and carry out His plan.
How do we pray this way?
In silent prayer, we simply present ourselves to God. We come as we are. No matter what is going on in our lives, no matter what mood we are in, no matter what's on our mind, no matter how little time we have to spare - we just come. We respond to the invitation of Christ, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Fully and completely, leaving our false self behind, we approach our Creator who loves us unconditionally, just as we are in this moment now.
By setting aside a certain amount of prayer time each day devoted exclusively to God, we are telling Him that He is important to us, that we are interested in getting to know Him better. Imagine trying to develop a friendship or relationship with someone but never speaking to them or spending any time together. You wouldn't get to know them very well.
We make time for what is important to us. So the very act of putting aside five minutes of quiet time to spend with the Lord every day shows Him that He is important to us. And that's all we do, sit quietly and listen, acknowledging that God is present, and opening up our hearts and minds to Him. Sounds simple but it takes time to get used to it. There will be a lot of distractions at first but when we let go of the noise we can hear the Lord better. No T.V., computer, games or cell phones to interrupt us but instead just a few minutes of silence with The Lord. God lives within us but His is a voice we drown out too frequently. In the stillness of our souls, we find rest, because that's where God is. Silent prayer is the way we get there.
Why do it?
Every human heart has a longing to be loved unconditionally. This longing can only be filled by the one who made the human heart. When we pray, we seek out the one who is Love. The One who accepts us, who understands us, who knows us, who cares about us, who doesn't put limits or deadlines or conditions upon us. The one who just "is" and loves us just the way we are. We don't have to do anything to earn this Love and we can never pay Him back. It's a love no other human being can give us. And it's supposed to be that way.
We practice silent prayer to uncover who God is and by doing so come to discover who we are also. When we acknowledge God as our center, we can discern His plan for our life more easily. The ultimate goal of meditation in prayer is to uncover God's perfect Will and purpose for our lives and unite ourselves with the Love that made heaven and earth.
God doesn't force Himself on us. We must approach Him, freely. We have nothing to fear. God is a Loving Father and by making a habit of practicing silent prayer daily we can come to know His Love in a new way, today.
Reflection Questions we can ask ourselves
Is God important to us?
Are we willing to make time for the One who made time?
When we pray, do we do all the talking? Are we open to listening?
Do we believe that God is Good and Loving, or do we have some unresolved dispute with Him?
Let's re-open the doors of communication and take a few minutes to talk to God,
with or without words.
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