A week or so ago, my Saturday study group's topic was on Praise for the Spirit - the discipline of Silence.
The study guide said that "For many of us the disciplines of silence and meditation are difficult for us to pursue. We want to complete a task - read through a book of the Bible, or pray through a list of needs. Sometimes, however, God wants us to simply come before him and hear his voice."
It had never occurred to me that silent prayer isn't simply praying without sound, like most people think it is. Rather, silent prayer is when we are silent and still before God. It's when we have poured ourselves out, come to Him as empty vessels, and have surrendered to His will.
We come to our Abba like a child nestled in daddy's lap, and receive rest in His loving arms.
We come to the Living God silent, as a patron of the arts, attending a symphony of grandeur, and leave His presence in awe of the sounds and textures blended to reveal the perfect creation of the composer.
We are silent as we come spiritually hungry, and our emptiness is filled through what Jesus gave on the cross, for we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Silent prayer is also an opportunity to allow the Holy spirit to intercede on our behalf when we do not know what to pray, or when we are so overwhelmed that all we can do is cry out, or when we are all cried out.
If prayer is the means by which we communicate with God, then silent prayer is an opportunity for God to answer us. Silence is golden. There are no words that can adequately describe being in God's presence when in silent prayer.