Seeking Silence

The prophet Elijah, from a Greek Orthodox icon.

Elijah on Mount Horeb (Greek Icon)

Sometimes, I need silence to pray, and it’s hard to find silence.

The world is noisy, busy, filled to the brim with stuff.

Our corporate worship feels the same way.

This isn’t about style. I have my own preferences—toward reverence, beauty, and the so-called “smells and bells” of high worship found in some Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran parishes. I have my own pet peeves—praise bands, projection screens, folk masses, clown masses (yes, that’s a real thing). I believe that some music, words, and actions are more suitable to the celebration of the congregation than to the worship of God, and I don’t see eye to eye with many Christians—or a lot of my fellow Catholics for that matter—on this topic.

But that’s not what this post is about.

All corporate worship, from the most solemn to the most frivolous, has gotten too busy to achieve its principal goal—furthering a communion with God.

What’s missing is silence.

Whether it’s a little less music, or slightly shorter prayers, or a better edited sermon, our corporate worship needs silence. It needs space. We need to stop talking, stop singing, and stop preaching to—or sometimes at—God.

Just stop.

Stop so we can listen.

Like Elijah on the mountain,  after the wind and the earthquake and the fire. After all the noise and the spectacle is when we hear God.

The “still small voice” we can only hear in silence.

Five Minute Friday

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3 thoughts on “Seeking Silence

  1. FIRST! Oh… wait…

    Anywho, this goes along with what we were talking about the other day… about how there needs to be a time to stop being busy all the time and actually stop and listen. It may be that God is waiting to act…and so we should wait for his timing as welll… Thanks for the reminder, David.

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  2. Wow. That is so true. When we are continually bombarding ourselves with noise, we are unable to hear God. I used to listen to music a lot when I would drive somewhere, but now I just like the silence. And I’m finding more and more that I hear God speak or I see Him move at those times. Thank you for your insight and reflection.

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  3. I love me all kinds of worship music and worship services – but I agree… my most favorite moments in the midst of any of them are the silent still ones – where we actually literally just stop and wait on Him! I agree… it seems to be harder to find that in corporate worship… we are so full of filler – the silence can feel empty or like too much risk but I think He loves it in the quiet! I think He is there all along of course… but it’s in the whisper that He often speaks the loudest! Stopping by from Five Minute Friday!

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