Musings on Our Struggles with Silence

Posted: Apr 07, 2020

There’s a lot of chatter on social media these days on how people are having a rough time being quarantined in their homes and coping with isolation.

Due to the coronavirus, restaurants, café’s, sports leagues, movie theaters, schools, and even churches are closed, stripping people of the diversions, entertainment, and social functions they had before.

This has left many with… silence. Time alone. Hours and days of it.

To me, having all of these diversions set aside, many of which are non-essential, has exposed who we are. It shows us what our real relationship with God looks like, and it reveals what happens when we have to face ourselves.

In silence, we are forced to face our heart. If your heart is hard, or there’s anger, discouragement, resentment, lust, or pride there, it will come to the surface. Many are turning to pornography during this time, as the recent explosion of visits to porn sites shows. Others are hitting the pantry to gorge themselves into a junk-food induced coma.

If you had a strong prayer life before, my guess is your prayer life will grow stronger because you’re already in the groove of spending extended time alone storming the throne room of grace.

Funny how we don’t read of people spending an hour or two in prayer now that they have all that time. Why is that?

And why is it that we’re having such a rough time being content with silence? Could it be that many of us have built our lives on $5.00 cups of coffee, the next hit movie, binge-watching TV shows, or sporting events?

If the Christian life is little more than church on Sunday to God’s people, this time will expose their prayerlessness and the weakness of their walk. As Leonard Ravenhill said, “No man is greater than his prayer life.” Prayerless believers are spiritually weak Christians.

We can see the root of some of this in the liturgy of our modern churches. We’re big into the teaching and the worship band, but most evangelical churches are not houses of prayer. We’ll listen to sermons on prayer and buy books on it, but digging into prayer during the weekend service doesn’t happen. We study God’s word, but we don’t do what is says.

No church is greater than their prayer life, either.

Jesus prepared for ministry by 40 days alone in the desert in pure, raw silence. The example He gave us for how to prepare for ministry didn’t include years in Bible colleges or seminaries, short term missions trips, conferences, or buying a book on how to be a success in ministry.

We’re going into convulsions just spending several days in our comfortable homes. There’s something wrong with this.

To me it’s a sign that our status-quo churches haven’t taught their flocks the value and power of prayer by doing it, nor have they showed them how powerful resting in silence with God is.

This is why I have an entire chapter devoted to silence in Rogue. The depth of communion with God is like no other when you understand that prayer and silence are powerful.

My hope is that our churches will become houses of prayer once the virus is resolved. “Business as usual” failed us before; we need the power of prayer in our churches every weekend, and in our homes.

How’s your prayer life? Is spending an hour or two in prayer easy for you? Or are you hitting the pantry?