Practice Silence

Thursday, March 23

Decide ahead of time when, where, and how you will accomplish this spiritual practice, especially if you have a job and cannot work from home (or keep quiet when your boss asks a question). This one is a challenge unless you are retired and living alone (and able to ignore a ringing phone). But learning to stop talking is the only way to listen fully. Think about when you argue with your spouse, child, or someone close to you; when the other person is talking, how truly engaged are you in listening? Or are you thinking about what you will say next?

Set aside an hour, if possible, when you will stop talking. Meditate on one of these scriptures for five to ten minutes:

Psalm 62:1 “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1,7b “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to keep silent and a time to speak.”

1 Samuel 3:10 “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Throughout your quiet hour, go back to the verse you chose—listen to what God is saying (or trying to say) to you. Journal your response. What challenged you in your quietness quest?

Go deeper: Consider a silent retreat. Search “silent spiritual retreat” on the web. Read about the benefits; read the testimonials. Ask God to lead you. Ask yourself what would prevent you from trying this sort of experience.