Now as an extrovert, who will walk outside to find someone to go talk to when I get bored, I am just as guilty of this. But it is really when I take this mentality into prayer that I hurt myself the most. There have been countless times I’ve gone into the church for a holy hour, only to spend the entire hour talking at God, as opposed to talking with God. Prayer is meant to be a conversation with God, not a monologue.
Now I know what you are saying, “It’s not like God will talk right back to me.” And you know what, you’re right, for the vast majority of us, we won’t hear God audibly speak while on earth. Perhaps you may be one of the future saints who will hear Him audibly speak, and to that I just want to ask if you could ask Him a few things for me, because I would love to get some clear answers.
So if God isn’t going to audibly speak to me, why should I sit in silence for a response in prayer? Well, while we may not hear that audible voice, He can still speak to us. In my own life, there was an occasion I was sitting down waiting for the Eucharist to process in at a FOCUS conference. I was feeling incredibly anxious, and I didn’t understand why. I decided to silence my heart to just prepare myself for Jesus, and as soon He processed in, I felt an overwhelming call to missionary life. It had been on my mind, but never in a way that I thought I should apply and then move across the country for a year, giving up my comfortable job. But I knew in that moment that God had something amazing planned for me with missionary work, and in trusting Him, I am now 3000 miles away from home, ministering to people every time I step outside.
Now that is my experience with silence, but not everyone will be struck with a sudden realization. Maybe you are already serving where God wants you, maybe you’re already following His plan for your life. In those cases you may just be given a gentle feeling of peace in the silence. When presented with a few options for a step in your life, bring the to God. Let Him reveal where He wants you through the peace He gives you with each option.
Now, we are still about a month away from the beginning of our Lenten season, but I wanted to get a head start on figuring out what it is that I should be sacrificing for Lent. I feel that to grow in holiness I can sacrifice my radio for Lent. Instead of blasting music in the car while driving, I can sit in the silence, take the time to pray, and to listen to God speak to me. So I want to challenge you to join me, and spend more time in the silence, so that you can hear God’s will in your own life.