Updated: Jan 12
In many cultures, especially the West, busyness is almost a badge of honor. The more we have going on the more we may attribute value to ourselves. A filled up schedule may give us a warped sense of importance or accomplishment. How are we to “quiet our souls” when the demands of everyday life are always knocking at the door?
While there are many beautiful truths to learning to “pray on the go,” Jesus himself gives us instruction that transcends cultural times and seasons. David prayed beautifully in Psalms..
“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. (I am content) Psalms 131:2”
We get the sense that David even in his day had to be intentional about “quieting his soul” before the Lord. The result was divinely inspired contentment! How much more can believers today, with access to the Holy Spirit find this kind of peace and contentment?
"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is." ~ Amy Carmichael (Missionary to India)
As a father of 5 children, including a special needs son, I’ve learned somethings about the need to “quiet my soul.” Here are 5 keys to “quiet your soul” before the Lord.
1. GET ALONE
Do what it takes to SCHEDULE time alone! If that means getting up early before the kids, staying up later than everyone else. Do it. Jesus told us directly that when we pray we should, “close the door behind us…” There is absolutely a blessing when we create intentional “quiet time” to be alone with the Lord. If Jesus himself did it, we know we would benefit from it as well!
Suzanna Wesley, the famous mother of John and Charles Wesley Wesley would put an apron over her head when she was praying. The children learned to not interrupt mom when she was praying!
2. LET NATURE HELP
While we as Christians don’t worship nature, nature does however worship God! Paul even says that nature reveals deep mysteries about the Trinity! Rom 1:20.
An intentional walk in the park, sitting before a body of water, or a day without screens and sunshine can do wonders to quiet the soul. I’ve always wanted to live by a lake or the ocean, I’ve currently got the next best thing, a big retention pond! Nearly once a day I walk the pond which is surrounded by trees. I don’t take my phone, it’s just me and the Holy Spirit.
3. EMPTY YOUR BURDENS
If we think traffic in our crowded cities is bad, we should get a map of the traffic in our own brains! It’s very difficult to quiet our souls, when we are dealing with an enormous amount of emotional traffic. A biblical way to begin to quiet our souls is to intentionally release your burdens to the Lord. (1 Peter 5:7)
Often I will feel burdened and not know why. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me. I then write down each burden (if there is a list.) I go one by one and pray over them and then release them to the Lord. I may even imagine them being put out to sea. I know I’ve released the burden when I am able to not think about them during this time of prayer.
4. PRACTICE STILLNESS
This one may seem impossible, but even my 3 year old has had times of stillness and meditation! (Albeit not for long…) Being still resists the “tyranny of the urgent.” To wait, not ask for anything and just be with the Lord, is our greatest reward! Once I’ve released my burdens to the Lord, I’m intentional about being still for 3 to 5 minutes minimum. From this place, I may decide to read the scriptures, or ask the Lord, “What is on YOUR heart for today?” “Practice makes perfect…”
5. TUNE OUT DISTRACTIONS
Many in western culture are addicted to entertainment and social media. If you are having trouble reclaiming the quietness of your soul, take an intentional break from ALL media. Even a 7 day break will help you re-calibrate to stillness.
For myself, I have to be intentional about turning off media at an earlier time at night if I am going to practice being led by the Spirit from a place of peace and rest.
While these “keys” are by no means a fully comprehensive study of this topic, hopefully they will kick-start some ideas for you as you continue to develop your own prayer habits in fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit in the place of prayer! He is our great reward!
Richy Clark, Director Lighthouse Prayer Center
---- Lighthouse Prayer Center is a community church with a mission to raise up prayer in our region and the nations of the earth! We meet at 5pm on Sundays every week in Magnolia, Tx. You can learn more at our website here: www.lighthouseprayercenter.com