Tonight, I went to a Taizé prayer service at my church. It is a simple, meditative, and ecumenical form of worship focusing on mantra songs, short readings, and silence. The only time we got up was to put our petitions into a bowl of water and let them dissolve. The lights were dim and the choir and musicians sat on the altar. People were socially distant in the pews, allowing some true alone and quiet time away from distractions. Several times during the service I closed my eyes to more fully focus on the silence and my prayers.
My church also has family adoration nights which combine dim lights, praise and worship music, and adoration of the blessed sacrament. I seek out these services because they allow me to devote some intentional time to silence.
I often crave silence in a world that can be too loud for my mind and soul. Sometimes at home, I ask my family to just leave me alone so that I can go sit in a bath by myself and be quiet. From my talkative child to my loud, barking dogs to the always blaring TV, it can be a challenge to find peace and quiet within the home.
Sometimes, I like to go outside and lay in my hammock and just listen to the sounds of the birds. I need to create more time to intentionally sit in silence, however. It has been awhile since I took time to meditate (and I often fall asleep while doing so). Silent prayer is powerful and let’s you hear more of what God has to say to you, if you can just make time for it.
Many people are uncomfortable with silence and feel the need to always fill it. In my training as a counselor, we were taught to be comfortable with the silence. Giving people time to quietly think can create some really good insights.
I’m going to set a goal to spend at least five minutes in silent prayer every day. I know that it will be a challenge, but also a powerful and purposeful endeavor.