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Silence

Today’s Reflection

TO BE WITH GOD, we must learn the power of silence to communicate God’s presence. John of the Cross once said, “Silence is God’s first language.” God speaks the language of silence. If we are to hear the silent voice of God, we must learn to turn down the noise of our lives. The silence of the place does us little good unless we are able to match it with the silence of our souls.

– Ben Campbell Johnson and Paul H. Lang
Time Away: A Guide for Personal Retreat

From page 21 of Time Away: A Guide for Personal Retreat by Ben Campbell Johnson and Paul H. Lang. Copyright © 2010 by Ben C. Johnson and Paul H. Lang. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How would you describe a noisy soul? A silent soul? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

Isaiah 60:5, NRSV

This Week: Pray for inner peace. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Simeon Stylites (January 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 17 comments… add one }

  • Louise January 2, 2018, 5:32 am

    Noisy soul/silent soul…I lived with a noisy soul for many years. My soul was filled with anger, despair, quilt, bitterness, worry, and anxiety. All the while my soul was aching and screaming I would pray and read Gods word hoping for an answer that would help me. I was not listening because the noise of my soul was not allowing God’s peaceful words to penatrate. As I prayed my mind would race. I would say the words of the prayers but that is all…the words did penetrate. When I read my mind would wonder…the words would not penetrate. I was a top spinning through life thinking “I have so much to do. Life is so fast and crazy. I am doing all the right things. I am a good person. I help everyone and I try to be good to everyone. I pray and read the bible everyday. So why do I feel so out of control all the time.”
    The answer finally came to me after many years of thinking I was doing everything right. “I was not really listening and I was not really seeing what God was saying and showing me.” It took many hours of training myself through prayer, meditation, and mindfulness to silent my soul so that I could hear and see what God is saying and showing me. It was not easy and even now some days are harder than others but I know that a silent soul is better than a noisy soul. I pray for all of you here at UR that you will have inner peace and that your souls will be silent so you can hear and see Him.

  • robert moeller January 2, 2018, 5:52 am

    I think a noisy soul has too many thoughts and trouble being silent, thoughtless, to hear God. I find it very difficult to stop thinking, to silence my soul.

    Thankful for a good first day of a new year, a wonderful lunch, a walk on a sunny blue sky clear day with the crunch of snow under my feet and snow topped mountains easily visible. The New Year’s concert from Vienna, greetings from family in Germany. Small tasks done. Able to help my son. Posts from and prayers for UR family where God’s presence is recognized. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for healing, restoration, reconciliation, and peace for all of the UR family. Thankful that you believe, trust, in God, and share your faith here.

  • Jill January 2, 2018, 6:02 am

    Many of Louise’s words could be my own.
    Yesterday morning and the day before that was a prime example of my noisy, dis-quieted soul. I really don’t like it very much. Recognition of it – as I allow peace to take over – leads to gratitude…gratitude that indeed my soul can and does rest in my Saviour. Yesterday, I sat for quite a while before I clicked the “submit” button. Wasn’t sure I wanted to spill my unease on this blessed, quiet space. Yet, I knew that so many of you would faithfully hold me before God – and I needed that, because I was struggling to remain before Him. I have learned much about vulnerability and authenticity and wanted to “practice what I preach”. Thank you – for understanding, for hearing and for praying.
    For many years my soul was in a constant state of dissonance, wildly racing thoughts, emotions running amok. Oh what peace there is on the other side. So thankful to God for His Peace – it does surpass my understanding. I could not sense it because of the noise of my own making. But praise God – those instances are few and far between…although I just came out of one. It is so obvious to me now the role that the devil plays…he pounces when I am weak and exposes my most sensitive area. But my Saviour reigns – and as is stated in 1 Peter 4 – love covers a multitude of sins…wash over me, Love.
    Prayers for constancy here for all the UR family. Constancy in faith and trust in Our Heavenly Father.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 2, 2018, 6:35 am

    A noisy soul is like a headless chicken rushing here and there without direction whereas a quiet soul is one seeking direction from God and following His leading.

    Blessings to everyone!

  • Andrea January 2, 2018, 7:03 am

    I am thankful that my soul is quieted now, most of the time. When a number of years back I first started posting , my soul was in a dark night. If that happens again, i have faith that I will come through it.

    An old hymn, a favorite. I like that the author commands her soul to be still, like Jesus, in the boat, commanding the waves to subside.

    “Be Still, My Soul”
    by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
    Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897
    1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
    Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
    Leave to thy God to order and provide;
    In every change He faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

    2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
    To guide the future as He has the past.
    Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
    Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
    His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

    3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
    And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
    Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
    Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
    Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
    From His own fulness all He takes away.

    4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
    When we shall be forever with the Lord,
    When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
    Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
    Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
    All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

    Hymn #651
    The Lutheran Hymnal
    Text: Psalm 46:10
    Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
    Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
    Titled: “Stille, mein Wille”
    Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
    Tune: “Finlandia”

    • Marcy January 2, 2018, 12:55 pm

      Andrea, thank you for this hymn today. Soothing serenity, Lord, one of Your many gifts to us. I listened again to “It Is Well With My Soul” last night, performed a capella (sp.?) by Brigham Young young men’s group. I cry every time, but it soothes my occasionally noisy soul. Praying for inner peace with all the faith I can muster through the Holy Spirit.

      • Andrea January 2, 2018, 3:41 pm

        Praying for inner peace for you, Marcy. I so appreciate your beautiful, faith-
        filled comments and your prayers.

    • Ann January 6, 2018, 9:24 pm

      Thank you for that hymn

  • Carol January 2, 2018, 7:06 am

    A long story made short! I too had a very busy mind. I just couldn’t get a handle on my situation that I couldn’t relate or comprehend. It got so bad, I couldn’t bring one thought out of all of them. Thankfully, at l my request, God stepped in and cleared out my whole mind! Since then I have had to learn how to live and think. I will never ever go back to the practice of worrying, trying to work things out. Because of Gods goodness and mercy, I have rested from my works.

  • Julie January 2, 2018, 8:02 am

    Thank you, each of you who commented. You have described my troubled soul completely and perfectly and have also given me hope.
    Hope that, I, too, may expereince the, elusive to me currently, peaceful heart and soul.
    Thank you also for sharing your paths you traveled to find yur peace.
    I now set on my own path, with your experiences to guide me. Once agaain I find myself in your tuteledge and in your debt.

  • Julie January 2, 2018, 8:04 am

    sorry hit submit by mistake
    Blessings and prayers and humble thank you to all

  • Lou January 2, 2018, 8:34 am

    Wonderful helpand words of wisdom from all today- I agree with the comment that the noise is devils work- and I keep reminding myself that the only thing that is important in life is God’s love and that he sent his only Son to save us – that is what brings me peace in my crazy earthly life – that one day we will have true peace and eternal life. It is a daily struggle and I have days where I am more peaceful than others-
    Praying for peace for all of the faithful posters and readers here- for the good days filled with peace and the days that are not so peaceful that are the reminders that we need God first in our life.
    Prayers for health and healing for all – both physical and emotional.
    My oldest daughter leaves to travel back east for her last semester of school tomorrow – prayers for her safe return. We have been held fast in a wonderful few weeks of family time- me and my three children- it has been a wonderful time for me -busy and good noisy and wonderful – I will be sad to go back to “real” life tomorrow as she leaves – my happiest has been when the children are around with their antics and love and laughter. I have gotten into a routine of getting up early and lighting the advent candles and doing my own advent readings apart from the family advent readings- I decided this morning as I read this about the silence that I will continue a routine of lighting a candle and having my early morning prayer time – I did it more informally previously but somehow I like the idea of lighting a candle.
    Thankful for this place and all of you as others have mentioned above – the sharing is so helpful in my own faith journey- it amazes me that complete internet strangers can become friends.
    Peace to you all.

    • Marcy January 3, 2018, 7:32 pm

      Lou, dear sister, so happy you had that precious time, healing time with your children. I continue to pray for your heart to be released and get urged to you fully healed. Let this be the year that starts to happen for you, through our Abba. Father. I care about you and wish I could switch places with you to spare you the pain, just meaning that you would be happier without your ex than you were with him. Hope that came out the right way. Love to you, Lou.

  • robert moeller January 2, 2018, 8:34 am

    So thankful for these wonderful, insightful, soul baring posts. Each one of you contributes deep concepts. From chickens without their heads to “Be Still My Soul” and the many personal accounts of your own experiences I am very thankful to have been able to read all of them. I’ve seen chickens without their heads and sung that powerful moving hymn. My experience mirrors yours.
    Many of you put into better words than I am able your spiritual journey.
    I join Julie in thanking you. Blessings as we approach Epiphany. Christmastide is still with us.

  • Marcy January 2, 2018, 9:44 am

    I am immeasurably grateful to God’s leading through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that brought me to calm, peaceful meditation when reading and studying the Word. I, too, was unable to take in, really hear, what the Lord was instilling within me. I don’t really know how or when it changed, but change it did. The adoration and deep Love I have for our Triune God now exceeds all of my previous “understandings”. It will continue to build each day I draw breath.

    I am typing on my own today, UR family! Praise the Lord! I’ve been warned not to get ahead of myself, as I will tire easily, but am looking forward to pt, ot, and seeing how far I can push myself with the pulmonary issues. May be here for a couple of weeks, and after discharge, will have to stay in my apartment as I could easily get sick again. My lungs are temporarily damaged, but there is also some chronic disease that showed up on chest x-ray.

    I continue to to lift all of you, my loving UR family, brothers and sisters in prayer each and every day. It actually is part of what contributes to my silent soul, praying intercessory prayers. I have deep love and affection for you all and am so thankful to our Lord that He brought you into my life, can’t imagine being without you now. We are such a huge blessing in each other’s lives. Thank you, Abba, Father, Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Holy Spirit for this amazing grace-filled UR family.

  • Edy January 2, 2018, 11:17 am

    Thank you all for such beautiful thoughts and suggestions to quiet my ever noisy self. It’s difficult to surround myself with silence with a loud tv going all day, ( not my choice) it’s going to happen this year though. I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me. I do have a quiet space to go to but I’m a procrastinator. Holy Spirit please help me. Has anyone heard from Rusty? I was in a bible study class with him 10 years ago and I always liked his comments on UR. I now live in a different state and just wondered if anyone has heard from him.

  • Chloe January 4, 2018, 9:41 pm

    Thank you to all for sharing truths, or baring truths. I’m not able to go on til late in the day, but it’s comforting to know that all struggle from time to time with the noisy soul, and so much harder in this modern and electronic world… to be still and know that He is God. Thank you Andrea for the “Be Still My Soul” hymn, words typed out! what a blessing to the noisy and weary soul. I copied and will read and re-read and re-read. I loved it when I first heard this beautiful song so many years ago. God bless all on the journey home, and for prayers lifted for all brothers and sisters.

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