For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
Have you noticed there is always noise in our modern church services? After the worship band finishes its set, announcements are made, and the pastor quickly jumps into the sermon. As he finishes his message, the worship band mounts the stage so they can segue into the last song.
If they ask us to “have a moment of reflection,” it’s usually for seconds, with the worship band playing in the background.
Then there are the prayer meetings. Or lack of them.
The few times a church calls for a prayer meeting, it’s usually a night of “prayer and worship.” Why not have just a night of prayer and forgo the worship band? It’s difficult to settle into prayer when you’ve got the last song that was played ringing in your ears. The early church didn’t have a problem meeting for prayer, why do we?
The truth is that most Christians won’t show up to a prayer meeting. Gotta get the worship band there to get people interested so they can “warm up for prayer”… which shows how far we’ve drifted. Our performance-driven churches have groomed their flocks to sit and watch, not get on their knees and storm the throne of grace, especially, not in front of others. That might make them uncomfortable and we don’t want to do that in church.
…Which is what resting in silence does to those who aren’t used to it. In silence, our heart is exposed. Without the audio-visual distractions to check out with, silence forces us to face what is at times our greatest enemy – the Self.
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