Be Still and Listen

When my children were small and it was nap time, I would tell them to simply be still. I thought I could trick them into falling asleep. It never worked unless they were strapped into a five-point harness car seat, and we took a late afternoon drive over the causeway, looking into the rays of the setting sun. Of course, if they fell asleep then, it meant a really late bedtime. Why is it so hard for us to be still?

Over the summer, I read a Bible study on discerning the voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. The entire study was thought-provoking and soul-searching, but the part that stuck with me the most was that we must be still. It sounds so simple–just be still and listen. Of course, these days, if I’m too still I just might fall asleep. And even if I can be still physically, my mind is soon flooded with chores, schedules, and sometimes great ideas. This is where I am working in my daily prayer life.

I think this is why being still in prayer is considered a spiritual discipline. It takes work. Reading scripture and listening to worship music can help focus my efforts. How odd that it takes effort to still our bodies and minds. But God wants to talk to us, and He does through His word. “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) When we sit still with the scripture and give our thoughts over to God, that is when we can hear him.  God desires to spend time with us, listen to us, and respond to us.

How amazing is it that the God who spoke the universe into creation wants to communicate with us. Our God is a good father and a wonderful counselor, and he desires our quiet and expectant souls. “Here I am!” Proclaims the Lord. “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Don’t you want to sit at the table with Him? What will He share with you? He’s waiting. He’s knocking. Open the door, and then, “be still and that He is God.” Psalm 46:10

How do you spend time with God? Is there a specific passage of scripture or worship song that you find helpful? Is there a special place that you go to feel close to the Holy Spirit?

 

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