THEME: THE WALL
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME TRUST YOU WHEN I CANNOT SEE YOUR GOODNESS
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
You may already be uncomfortable with this practice just by reading the title. It is not often easy for us to be silent. Silence involves being … nothing. Doing nothing. It is not productive, creative, or efficient. Today’s practice of silence is a reminder that when we are facing the Wall, the most important thing we can do is wait for God. We cannot break through it on our own power, and it is impossible to circumvent. We must trust the Lord to bring us through it. We can only be diligent to look for Him, to remain near Him as we wait.
Choose a place where you can be alone in silence. Leave your phone somewhere else or set it on “do not disturb” mode. Because we are easily distracted, it is often helpful to select a word that brings our attention back to the Lord. Below are listed a few of God’s many names. Read through and choose the first one that grabs your attention.
Advocate / Answer / Anchor / Burden-bearer / Bountiful / Counselor / Cornerstone / Defender / Encourager / Enthroned / Father / Friend / Glorious / Hiding Place / Healer / Holy Spirit / I AM / Jesus / King / Light / Merciful / Manna / Nearest / Overcomer / Protector / Potter / Quietness / Rescuer / Rock / Restorer / Strength / Shield / Truth / Trinity / Unfailing / Uplifter / Victory / Vision / Word
Sit in silence for at least ten minutes. It can help to set a timer so you are free to just be, without worrying about how long it’s been or how long is left. When your mind wanders, repeat your word a few times, and allow focusing on that word to draw you back to silence. You may feel you are wasting time. You are not. In choosing to stop using words, you are offering your mind and body to the Lord as a prayer.
After ten minutes, open your journal and write about how this time felt for you. Use these questions as a guide:
- Were you anxious, fidgety, concerned, annoyed? Why?
- In what ways was it enjoyable, freeing, or restorative?
- Do you typically avoid moments of silence? Why do you think that might be?
- Where are some moments of “silence” that you could take advantage of today, instead of filling them with noise? Write those moments down and enjoy those “little solitudes” today.
Digging Deeper: Make time to be silent like this one more time today, for at least ten minutes. Is it easier or more difficult to do the second time? Tomorrow, when you begin your practice and keep silent following the “Settling In” section, remain silent for five minutes before beginning your practice. The fruits of silence are often seen in their cumulative effect more than in the individual practices, so stick with it!
- Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your experience in practicing silence.
- Closing Prayer: God, You are my Strength in quietness and confidence, and I want to trust You more. Help me trust You when I cannot see Your goodness.
NOTE: Tomorrow’s practice requires a bit of planning ahead. Check the blog for Day 3 today after 5pm or early in the day tomorrow so you don’t miss the practice specifically for the morning.