Silence is a prerequisite for prayer. Anyone who’s serious about deepening their relationship with God needs to become friends with silence. When I was younger, silence felt like a useless discipline. Whenever I tried to be still, my mind would fill with all kinds of distractions. Eventually I’d give up and move on. Today I still get distracted during prayer. The difference is that I welcome silence as a friend in a way I didn’t know about when I was younger. In addition to my regular prayer time, I look for opportunities throughout the day to spend even 5 extra minutes of silence with God in prayer. God doesn’t wear a watch.
Advent is a gift that calls us to slow down and welcome silence at a time when society is speeding up to buy gifts, attend holiday parties, and plan trips home for Christmas. Just as our ancestors in faith longed and waited for the Savior, silence allows us to hear God’s voice and to get in touch with our own deep longing. This week, light a candle, play some soft instrumental music, and let it lead you into silence where you can listen to your own heart. You may be surprised at what you hear.