This week in Sunday school, we discussed being silent before the Lord in order to hear His voice. This is something we might find difficult to do, depending on our situation - like if you have small children (or any children) or a job that takes up a lot of time.
We tried to do this for a brief amount of time in class, and some of us had a difficult time, while others didn't seem to mind at all. For me, it was difficult.
I find it difficult to turn off my mind or stop it from wandering. Usually one thought leads to another, and that one to another, and so on. Or, I'll hear a noise or talking or whatnot in the distance (in this case it was coming from the class next door to ours, and from the kids music program down the hall), and seem to focus on that - even if I pray and ask the Lord to help me refocus on Him. It's not an easy situation!
Here are some guidelines we discussed prior to doing this exercise in the class:
1. Prayer (5 minutes) - settling into quietness and stillness, trust God with "to-dos" or jot them down in a quick note.
2. Read through your Bible passage once (in our case we tried this exercise using Matthew 5:1-12), then read it again, this time more slowly.
3. Pay attention to verses that stand out to you.
4. In what ways are you feeling plessed?
5. In what ways have you experienced the truth of these verses lately?
6. How do these verses intersect with your life right now?
7. Are there ways in which these verses seem odd to you? (It is totally OK if they do)
8. Are there ways you sense God is telling you to change? How do you react to this?
9. What do the verses tell us about God?
As I said, I didn't find myself successful with the attempt of being silent before the Lord in class. Not only did I find the noise around me (from other classes) distracting, but I wasn't sitting in a comfortable chair either. To me, that is one of the big factors - the need to be comfortable before I can concentrate or focus. I'm the same way if I'm studying something too; I need a comfortable chair.
So, because this didn't work for me on Sunday, does that mean I won't try it again? Of course not! I will try this again and see how it works for me then - and of course, I'll make sure I have myself a nice, comfortable chair!
Have you tried being silent before the Lord? Have you heard him speak to you this way? I'd love to hear your experiences with it!