Silence, Solitude,
& Stillness

OVERVIEW. Silence, Solitude, and Stillness is the practice of setting aside specific time to be present with God and doing nothing else. We see this practiced throughout the history of our faith from Elijah in the wilderness, to Jesus repeatedly drawing away to be alone, to the desert fathers cultivating a life around it. In our culture today, this can feel extremely challenging, uncomfortable, and radical. Yet as a cultivated rhythm of life, these combined practices can help us pay attention to God and ourselves. Silence creates space; solitude reorients us toward God; stillness halts the pressure to achieve.

Start by getting into a comfortable position that's as free of distractions as possible. To begin, we are going to take about 5 minutes in silence, solitude, and stillness. We recommend setting a timer and setting your phone to the side. To still your body, it might be helpful to sit with your feet planted on the ground, body uncrossed, and hands open, facing up. If it's helpful, close your eyes. Begin by taking some deep breaths alongside practicing a breath prayer from Psalm 23. We’ll use this to recenter ourselves on the presence of God. Slowly breathe in while praying, “The Lord is my shepherd.” Breathe out with the prayer, “He provides all that I need.” Repeat this another time.

There are several ways to engage silence, solitude, and stillness. For the sake of this practice, as you sit alone in the silence, a few things might come up: worries, insecurities, decisions that need to be made. The focus for these five minutes is to sit at the feet of Jesus, in the gaze of his goodness and love. As those worries and insecurities come up, give them over to Jesus. It might be helpful to picture yourself at Jesus' feet, surrendering those thoughts at his feet. Or it might be helpful to pray this simple prayer: "Jesus, I give you ____. I trust you to take care of it." Take time to become more and more aware of his presence, quieting our noisy mind, body, and world.  

After five minutes, close the time with a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord. You might want to reflect on what you became aware of during your time? Was there anything God was highlighting? Was this comfortable or uncomfortable and why?

FURTHER PRACTICES. This week, try engaging in silence, solitude, and stillness every day as part of your time with Jesus. Aim for a minimum of 5 minutes each day. Increase as you feel led and able to. 
We first practiced Silence, Solitude, and Stillness as part of our Hearing God series. To learn more, feel free to check out that sermon!