Godly Silence

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4.18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

From John: With four weeks of the Lenten season remaining, we need to ensure it does not become just another trendy opportunity for a different kind of consumption and self-fulfillment. Rather than that, Lent should be a process of self-denial, seeking of God, and blessing of others. This repost from Matt Tullos continues to remind us that, in our modern world, a fast from the technological “noise” we live in might be as important as any other type of fasting. 

Reflection: Godly Silence
By Matt Tullos

The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. — Blaise Pascal

My wife and kids were away the night a violent thunderstorm hit our town and the electricity went out. At that moment I was watching a football game, scanning twitter, and listening to music.

When darkness arrived in a split second I realized that the battery on my iPhone was almost gone. A brief moment of panic ensued. I realized that in a matter of minutes I would be thrust into the lifestyle millions of people enjoyed in the 1800s!

The silence and lack of media connection was unnerving at first. It was then that I sensed the presence of God speaking to me about my addiction to noise. After 15 minutes I had rediscovered the beauty of silence.

These days, silence is something we must fight to achieve, but it is definitely worth the fight. The National Center of Biotechnology stated in a study that two minutes of silence is more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

However, this is not new knowledge for people of the Book. The Bible urges us to experience silence as a spiritual discipline.

Every day we are faced with the choice of constant communication, noise and blather or intentional, Jesus-focused silence.

Don’t wait for a power outage in order to spend time in silence. God might be trying to tell you something but all the ambient noise and entertainment leaves you deaf to His voice.

I believe we would be astounded by all God wants to say to us and yet He never gets a chance because of our preoccupation with news, messages, conversations and entertainment. Silence isn’t just golden, it is godly.

Ask yourself, “How am I seeking silence in my day?” and “Why is constant communication and auditory stimulation so addictive?”

Take time to spend 15 minutes in silence today. Allow God to speak into your soul.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. — Psalm 90.12

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle


Today’s Readings
Exodus 16 (Listen -5:02)
Luke 19 (Listen – 5:29)

This Weekend’s Readings
Exodus 17 Listen -2:30), Luke 20 (Listen – 5:07)
Exodus 18 (Listen -3:54), Luke 21 (Listen – 4:18)

Read more about A Fight Won with Quietness
The fight to which we have been called is not an easy fight. We are touching the very center of the devil’s power and kingdom, and he hates us intensely and fights hard against us.

Read more about Discipline for the Anxious
If there are corners of our world not touched by division, aggression, worry, and angst, you probably can’t get email there.

Seeking Silence—Readers’ Choice

Selected by reader, Jon Polk, Hong Kong
In our hectic lives today, silence is rare. Can you remember the last time you sat for 15 minutes in silence to listen to the voice of God as this article suggests? I’m not sure I can either. This sad reality is to our detriment. We all need this reminder to put down the phone, turn off the news, shut down the browser and rediscover the spiritual discipline of silence. Not an empty silence, of course, but a silence that enables us to tune our hearts to listening close to the still, small voice of God.

Originally published, March 5, 2020, based on readings from Job 34 & 2 Corinthians 4.

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4.18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Reflection: Seeking Silence—Readers’ Choice
By Matt Tullos

The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. — Blaise Pascal

My wife and kids were away the night a violent thunderstorm hit our town and the electricity went out. At that moment I was watching a football game, scanning twitter, and listening to music.

When darkness arrived in a split second I realized that the battery on my iPhone was almost gone. A brief moment of panic ensued. I realized that in a matter of minutes I would be thrust into the lifestyle millions of people enjoyed in the 1800s!

The silence and lack of media connection was unnerving at first. It was then that I sensed the presence of God speaking to me about my addiction to noise. After 15 minutes I had rediscovered the beauty of silence.

These days, silence is something we must fight to achieve, but it is definitely worth the fight. The National Center of Biotechnology stated in a study that two minutes of silence is more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

However, this is not new knowledge for people of the Book. The Bible urges us to experience silence as a spiritual discipline.

Every day we are faced with the choice of constant communication, noise and blather or intentional, Jesus-focused silence.

Don’t wait for a power outage in order to spend time in silence. God might be trying to tell you something but all the ambient noise and entertainment leaves you deaf to His voice.
I believe we would be astounded by all God wants to say to us and yet He never gets a chance because of our preoccupation with news, messages, conversations and entertainment. Silence isn’t just golden, it is godly.

Ask yourself, “How am I seeking silence in my day?” and “Why is constant communication and auditory stimulation so addictive?”

Take time to spend 15 minutes in silence today. Allow God to speak into your soul.

Editor’s Note: Fasts of many different kinds are common during the Lenten season. In our modern world a fast from certain aspects of technology might be as important as any other type of fasting.

We pray that our fasting would not be merely self-improvement or self-fulfillment, but instead, a process of self-denial, seeking of God, and blessing of others. — John

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
The Lord lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation! — Psalm 18.46

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Lamentations 4 (Listen – 3:42)
Psalm 35 (Listen – 3:21)

Read more about Supporting our Work
The Park Forum is grateful to our donors who enable us to provide short, smart, engaging, biblical content to people across the world for free with no ads.

Read more about From Silence, Peace
The God who turned his back, came back. He came to speak peace to the people who had chosen death instead of life.

Spending our Way to Asceticism

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 5.15
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Reflection: Spending our Way to Asceticism
By John Tillman

Ascetics are the new cool kids. How do we become ascetics in a Western consumerist culture? Spend more, of course. 

People, even non-believers, universally recognize fasting as a marker of spirituality. Fasting is perhaps one of the least understood and most abused spiritual disciplines. Richard Foster said, “Because of the secularization of modern society, ‘fasting’ is usually motivated either by vanity or by the desire for power.” The power many are seeking is not power over sin, but power over the bathroom scale. We are not looking to make ourselves fit for Heaven as much as we are looking for ways to fit into the suit we wore a few years ago.

Many “fasts” involve paying for or partaking in perplexing, complicated, and expensive diets, foods, powders, and gadgets. This consumerist approach helps fasting fit into the American spiritual narrative of moralistic self-sufficiency. Even atheists can virtue-signal their dedication to self-improvement by going on a partial fast, eating far less of far more expensive food.

I am prone to stumble into cynicism about societal/spiritual trends such as these. So I want to be careful not to step too hard on anyone’s attempts to seek God through a discipline of fasting. Just because some fasts have a trending hashtag or have been of financial value to grocers and the sports nutrition industry doesn’t mean they have no spiritual value. After all, sticking to an expensive plan as a part of a fast is adding a financial level of sacrifice to a physical level of sacrifice. Who am I to judge? Fast on, trendy-fasters.

But I pray, for myself and others, that as we continue through Lent that no matter what kind of fast we choose, fasting will be more to us than a religious/dietary stunt. 

I pray that our intentions will be not for a good result in our dietary health but a God-result in our spiritual health.

As we continue fasting this weekend, let us pray this prayer from a previous post on fasting:

May we be more thrilled by gaining a better connection to Christ than by losses on a scale. 
May our lack aid us in leaning into Christ’s sufficiency. 
May our hunger lead us to read from His holy Word. 
May our pangs of emptiness lead us to make more room in our hearts and lives for the Holy Spirit and for the community of his Holy Church.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life. — Psalm 85.10

Today’s Readings
Job 35 (Listen -1:33)
2 Corinthians 5 (Listen -3:14)

This Weekend’s Readings
Job 36 (Listen -3:04), 2 Corinthians 6 (Listen -2:31)
Job 37 (Listen -2:27), 2 Corinthians 7 (Listen -2:58)

Read more about Binging on Fasting
We misunderstand fasting to such a level that we have co-opted the concept to create new opportunities for consumption.

Read more about Fasting “Better”
As fasting has grown fashionable…It’s easy for it to become just another spiritual competition of one-upmanship and comparison.

Seeking Silence

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4.18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Reflection: Seeking Silence
By Matt Tullos

The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. — Blaise Pascal

My wife and kids were away the night a violent thunderstorm hit our town and the electricity went out. At that moment I was watching a football game, scanning twitter, and listening to music.

When darkness arrived in a split second I realized that the battery on my iPhone was almost gone. A brief moment of panic ensued. I realized that in a matter of minutes I would be thrust into the lifestyle millions of people enjoyed in the 1800s!

The silence and lack of media connection was unnerving at first. It was then that I sensed the presence of God speaking to me about my addiction to noise. After 15 minutes I had rediscovered the beauty of silence.

These days, silence is something we must fight to achieve, but it is definitely worth the fight. The National Center of Biotechnology stated in a study that two minutes of silence is more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

However, this is not new knowledge for people of the Book. The Bible urges us to experience silence as a spiritual discipline.

Every day we are faced with the choice of constant communication, noise and blather or intentional, Jesus-focused silence.

Don’t wait for a power outage in order to spend time in silence. God might be trying to tell you something but all the ambient noise and entertainment leaves you deaf to His voice.
I believe we would be astounded by all God wants to say to us and yet He never gets a chance because of our preoccupation with news, messages, conversations and entertainment. Silence isn’t just golden, it is godly.

Ask yourself, “How am I seeking silence in my day?” and “Why is constant communication and auditory stimulation so addictive?”

Take time to spend 15 minutes in silence today. Allow God to speak into your soul.

Editor’s Note: Fasts of many different kinds are common during the Lenten season. In our modern world a fast from certain aspects of technology might be as important as any other type of fasting.

As we continue through the season of Lent we pray that our fasting would not be merely self-improvement or self-fulfillment, but instead, a process of self-denial, seeking of God, and blessing of others. — John

Divine Hours Prayer: The Small Verse
My soul thirsts for the strong, living God and all that is within me cries out to him.

Today’s Readings
Job 34 (Listen -3:26)
2 Corinthians 4 (Listen -3:02)

Read more about From Silence, Peace
Seek silence and darkness for a time, so that you can meditate and wait to hear his intimate voice and feel the light of his peaceful presence.

Read more about Hearing in Silence :: Throwback Thursday
It is not that God is not speaking or communicating to us. Rather, we have allowed ourselves to get back into such a hole that all we hear is the noise around us.

Only Through Christ :: Worldwide Prayer

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 3.5-6
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Reflection: Only Through Christ :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

If we have confidence in our own competence, we are destined to accomplish only what is possible by human effort. 

May we approach God with the humility of Paul’s proclamation from 2 Corinthians 5, and with the humble faith of this prayer from Nigeria, which invokes God’s power to work through us as his instruments.

Only Through Christ
A Prayer of Invocation from Nigeria :: Worldwide Prayer

O God, our Father we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ through whom you have incorporated us into your divine life by virtue of which we can call you Abba, Father. How can we thank you enough for the unmerited promise that where two or three are gathered in your name, you will honor them with your presence?

In humility, we have come to you claiming this gracious promise of your presence. Grant us the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to worship you in Spirit and in truth, for our desire is to be acceptable to you.

Our Holy Father, we have come confessing our sins of commission and omission before you because if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. Your promise is that if we confess our sins we will be cleansed by the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. Father, in your grace, touch us now and purge us of all of our sins.

Quicken our spiritual sensitivity so we can be consciously tuned to your spiritual wave length. May our eyes, O God, be opened now by the Holy Spirit to enable us to see the Risen Lord seated on the Throne in all his glory, pleading for us.

Grant that we will be dedicated to the task of being your divine instruments of redemption in our homes, in our workplaces, in our communities, to the extent that people around us will be impacted by the empirical demonstration of your transforming power working in us.

O Eternal Father, this is our earnest desire, this is why we have come before you. Grant this our humble desire, O God, not because we merit it but only because we ask for it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ , your Son and our Savior.

*Prayer from Hallowed be Your Name: A collection of prayers from around the world, Dr. Tony Cupit, Editor.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, for I have taken refuge in you; in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge until this time of trouble has gone by… — Psalm 57.1

Today’s Readings
Job 33 (Listen -3:00)
2 Corinthians 3 (Listen -2:25)

Read more about Christ, Our “If Only…”
Christ comes, applying for Job’s job posting. He would be our mediator if we let him.

Read more about Faith Requires Humility
One reason faith is so difficult for today’s culture is that we devalue humility. And faith cannot exist without humility.

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