The Power of Silent Prayer
By Richard Sanders
When reading my Bible, I often wonder about the things that aren’t written. I wish I knew what happened to my favourite characters like Zacchaeus or the Samaritan woman after they had experienced their encounters with Jesus. What did they do next, did they look at life differently? I would also be fascinated to know all the unwritten conversations between Jesus and His disciples, but what intrigues me most, what sparks my curiosity more than anything else are the encounters Jesus had when He withdrew Himself to a quiet place to be alone with God. Apart from the times when Jesus must have shared the details with His disciples so that they could later write it down and inspire us with it, there were so many more times when He went away and there’s no record of it. Even though we don’t know the exact details of these encounters, we do know that they were very much a part of Jesus’s ministry, one in which He told His disciples to adopt for themselves after they had returned from their own times of solo ministry (Mark 6:31). We are not told many of the details of Jesus’ times of quiet, private, intimate encounter, times alone with Father God, but actually, I think that’s the point! There are some things that we will never know until we discover them for ourselves in our own intimate time. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV UK)
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIVUK)
I believe that Jesus was showing us a spiritual discipline, one of silence and solitude. I don’t think it is a coincidence that these private moments happened either before or after poignant moments in Jesus’ time here on earth. Before He was tempted in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11), deciding which disciples to choose (Luke 6:12), after bad news like the death of John the Baptist (Matt 14:13), or after a long day of ministry (Mark 1:35). He places His heart in a unique position to just hear the Father’s heart. I think this beautifully demonstrates one of the most precious and powerful attributes of prayer, that of the silent encounter. This is not the time for the kind of prayer that requests, enquires, contends, intercedes or even worships. It’s a precious place, far away from the circumstances of life, safe and secure in His presence when you can intimately engage with the Spirit and finally be still and really grasp that God is GOD (Psalm 46:10). This moment can’t really be explained, it has to be experienced to be understood, it’s a place of discovering that still small divine voice within.
If that resonates with you, then we’d love to pray with you. Our prayer centre is open for your calls, 8am-8pm, Monday-Friday. Why not call us on 0300 561 0700?