The Hardest Part of Prayer
6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. Matthew 6:6 (MSG)
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.
James 4:10 (NJB)
Not all silence is spiritual. Some Christians are silent because they have nothing to say; others are silent because what they have to say cannot be uttered by mortal tongues. We … will confine our remarks to the latter.
Where the Holy Spirit is permitted to exercise His full sway in a redeemed heart, the progression is likely to be as follows: First, voluble praise, in speech or prayer or witness. Then, when the crescendo rises beyond the ability of studied speech to express, comes song. When song breaks down under the weight of glory, then comes silence where the soul, held in deep fascination, feels itself blessed with an unutterable beatitude.
At the risk of being written off as an extremist or a borderline fanatic, we offer it as our mature opinion that more spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome Presence of God than in years of mere study.… The exposure may be brief, but the results are permanent.
Let us now consider some of these human virtues. While I am talking I would like you, on your own, to keep up a conversation with our Lord. Ask him to help us all, to encourage us to penetrate more deeply today into the mystery of his Incarnation, so that we too, in our own flesh, may learn how to give living witness to our fellow men of him who has come to save us.
If it is hard when we are alone, it is nearly impossible in a time of prayer with others.
It should bring us to a place of peace, but it rarely does.
Our minds spin crazily, our hearts are blown from joy to despair, and if we are honest, maybe a little paranoia.
Quiet should be a great experience, a time to revive, and yet… it drives us crazy.
It should be a time to be in awe of the Incarnation, a time to be silent as you realize Jesus has come to you!
As you breath slows, as your sense sharpen, so should you become more aware He is there
Then watch, as that which pollutes your life is purged from you…as your sense of His grace overwhelms it, as the Holy Spirit sanctifies you.
Take your time in the silence… take your time in the peace…
Be confident in His promise, that He is there…
And find life.
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).
Escrivá, Josemaría. Friends of God . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.