Finding Stillness and Silence in our Busy World
It is those who have heard God in the quiet places who will have something deep, profound, and immovable to share.

Finding Stillness and Silence in Our Busy World

by Adam Wittenberg
8/24/17 Christian Living

Stillness is not a popular thing. Neither is silence. But both are necessary for our spiritual health and vitality, especially as we approach the end times.

By learning to quiet our souls, we create space for God to speak. As we clear out chatter and distraction (such as buzzing cell phones and blaring television sets), we are better able to hear the voice of our Creator, our Bridegroom, and our God.

Distraction is easy—it’s all around us, almost constantly—but this is not God’s call for our lives.

Knowing God

As believers, there’s something greater to define us than distraction and busyness: our power is found in knowing God.

“The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32). This verse is written in context of the end times, an era which is fast approaching, or, as some believe, is already in its early days.

Although people and information will travel quickly according to Daniel 12:4 (think of the Internet which was almost non-existent thirty years ago), it is those who have heard God in the quiet places who will have something deep, profound, and immovable to share.

Biblical Examples

Consider these examples from the Bible:

  • Moses was living a slower and much quieter life as a shepherd in the wilderness when God spoke to him from the burning bush (Exodus 3:1–10).
  • David’s eight years running from Saul included times of silence and meditating on God’s Word, and birthed multiple psalms.
  • Elijah stood quietly before he heard God’s “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11–13).
  • After his conversion, Paul spent three years in Arabia (likely the desert), conferring with the Lord; this produced much revelation for his ministry (Galatians 1:15–18).

Many of the early Christian fathers (especially the Desert Fathers) wrote about and practiced the discipline of silence. And while this may seem outdated, perhaps what our modern world needs more than ever is men and women who are not afraid of being quiet.

Learning to be still is a gift from God. Stilling our spirit, and our tongues, can bring blessing (Proverbs 10:19James 1:19).

The Lord likes to whisper, but He’s willing to shout in order to get our attention. If we cultivate a quiet spirit, it can provide a seedbed for His revelation to drop into at any time. But if we are busy and distracted, we may miss the seeds He’s trying to plant.

Practical Tips

  • Create a quiet space. Choose a location and time where you can be undistracted. It could be in your room, in your prayer closet, or while taking a walk outside. Some people are even able to do this while driving (as long as you keep proper attention on the road). Turn off distracting things like phones and digital devices, and give your focus to God.
  • Set the time aside. Schedule the time as if it were an important meeting (because it is!). Put it on your calendar and set an alert to remind you. If it’s helpful, set another alert for when the time is done, so you can remain undistracted with the Lord. He will surely fill the time you give to Him!
  • Be persistent and consistent. Being quiet to meet with God isn’t easy and may take some work. At first, it may seem like nothing is happening, but in time, breakthrough will come. Distractions usually flood in the moment we silence our minds. If this happens, keep a notebook with you to write down any important thoughts, then quickly return to being silent before God. Sometimes these “distracting thoughts” may be Him speaking to you, so learn to discern the spirits.

1 Peter 3:4 says that “a gentle and quiet spirit . . . is very precious in the sight of God.” The Lord loves quiet, even if our culture doesn’t.

In pursuing stillness and silence, we are following the words of Paul: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

How can you grow in stillness and silence?

Learn more about the spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers in The Way of the Heart by Henri J. Nouwen, available from the Forerunner Bookstore.

Adam Wittenberg


    A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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