Spiritual toolbox part 6: Silence and rest


Far from home is a perfect place to start – Switchfoot (song: Golden)

Part I: Struggle to be silent

Silence, peace, rest, prayer, all states I cannot seem to be able to be in at the moment.

There’s always the urge to do stuff, be productive, be active.

There’s always fear of failing, of praying and it not being good enough or simply not enough, so I choose not to pray at all…

There’s guilt, confusion, procrastination, distraction.

The truth is: it is never enough. Jesus died for us on a pole and there isn’t anything we can do to pay Him back. That is called grace.

We may rest in His love and be with Him, broken and flawed as we are. Like the cat in the picture above, just lay back and enjoy the love of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Here’s my prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I love you so much, and I want to be with you so! Please teach me anew how to pray and be silent and restful without measuring and condemning its amount or quality, please take me out of my inertia and dryness, my guilt and my fear of failing in simply being your child, of drowning in things to pray for and then not making a start at all….

Fill me anew with your Holy Spirit. I also pray for my friends and family to fill them too and touch us with your love and grace.

Let me rest in your approval and love for me everyday more. Give me patience to be still and listen to your voice.

In your mighty and victorious name


Part II: practicing silence

Wikipedia gives this definition of silence:

Silence is the relative or total lack of audible sound. By analogy, the word silence may also refer to any absence of communication, even in media other than speech.[1] Silence is also used as total communication, in reference to non verbal communication and spiritual connection.

A silent mind, freed from the onslaught of thoughts and thought patterns, is both a goal and an important step in spiritual development. Such “inner silence” is not about the absence of sound; instead, it is understood to bring one in contact with the divine, the ultimate reality, or one’s own true self.[2] Many religious traditions imply the importance of being quiet and still in mind and spirit for transformative and integral spiritual growth to occur. In Christianity, there is the silence of contemplative prayer such as Centering prayer and Christian meditation.

Basil Pennington, one of the best known proponents of the centering prayer technique, has delineated the guidelines for centering prayer:[5]

  1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, relax, and quiet yourself. Be in love and faith to God.
  2. Choose a sacred word that best supports your sincere intention to be in the Lord’s presence and open to His divine action within you (i.e. “Jesus“, “Lord,” “God,” “Savior,” “Abba,” “Divine,” “Shalom,” “Spirit,” “Love,” etc.).
  3. Let that word be gently present as your symbol of your sincere intention to be in the Lord’s presence and open to His divine action within you.
  4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, associations, etc.), simply return to your sacred word, your anchor.

Enjoy the age-old silence prayer techniques, but be careful not to judge yourself on whether you use a technique or not. Remember to just be. That’s enough. You’re good enough. Be a cat, cats don’t fret over being good enough…;-)

9 thoughts on “Spiritual toolbox part 6: Silence and rest

  1. Thanks for the inspiration Ester. I have added Silence to my big 5 of the day. I have to say after spending 5 minutes in silent mediation after prayer I feel more grounded then I have in months. Thank you for reminder. As usual, you are great!

  2. here’s a great blogpost from: http://missionalthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/silence-solitude-2/

    Silence and solitude is not something we often do well. We say we want rest, we say we want solitude and silence, but we do not live our lives in such a way that it happens.

    In silence and solitude we are exposed. There is nothing to hide, we are forced to come face to face with who we are, what we think of God, what we think of ourselves and our world. All of the voices in our head and spirit come out. It is a moment of complete vulnerability.

    Yet, this is one of the only ways to become all that God wants us to become. As leaders, it is one of the only, if not the only way to get clarity and hear from God.

    Our lives are so busy and so loud that we crowd out the voice of God. Until we unplug and get away for silence.

    Today, I am heading out for a day of silence and solitude. It is a practice I used to do regularly, but as life has gotten busier with my family and with the growth of Revolution, it was the first thing to go off the schedule. But those two reasons are why it needs to be a regular practice.

    I would appreciate your prayers that I would be able to rest in God, get some clarity on the next steps of Revolution as the next few months are going to be huge for Revolution and what God wants to do through us in Tucson.

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