‘Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.’ (v2) Ecclesiastes 5:1–7

Talking is too easy. We have phrases such as ‘stop digging’, indicating the more we speak the more we incriminate ourselves. Chatter, in both verbal and written form, threatens to overwhelm us. From podcasts to tweets, we are surrounded by the free expression of opinions, yet with little time to digest what’s being said.

The roots of the word ‘listen’ are to hear and obey. Approaching God, we all too often fill the airwaves with our voice, failing to pause to listen to the Lord of the universe. 

Relationships grow from two-way communication. We learn about another person’s preferences and discover more about ourselves. This is the heartbeat of prayer. Taking time with God, I learn who I am from God’s perspective.

Yet silence is often intimidating. Left alone, we discover how uncomfortable we are in our own skin. We quickly seek to drown out the silence with sounds; builders have radios blaring, we click on the TV rather than enjoy a few moments of quiet. So many struggle with silence.

I remain grateful for periods of silence. My day starts with 20 minutes of silence. My car is a haven of silence, with the radio always turned off. For it is in the silence that we hear the whisper of God; a whisper that inspires, encourages and comforts in equal measure.

RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 1 Kings 19:1–13; Jonah 1:1–10; Mark 6:30–32, 45–52; Acts 10:9–23.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: It is impossible to stop the distraction noise creates in our lives instantly. Try developing a habit of taking 15 minutes, somewhere in your day, just to be silent and still. 

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to hear Your voice clearly amongst the many voices that demand my attention every day. Amen.’

Photo by blocks on pexels

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.