Stillness

Stillness

Reflection on Stillness – edited from Christian Copyrighting Solutions

I have been reflecting on the question, “Does stillness and quiet have a place in modern worship.” The question arose when I was speaking to a couple of our young worship leaders who were asking if a particular song was appropriate for congregational use. It’s a slower song, rather introspective and could make it difficult for some to engage.  We began a conversation about our experiences of stillness and quiet in worship service. 

We wanted to affirm that of course we needed stillness and quiet! How can we even begin to hear God, if we don’t allow some time and space for stillness in our own lives and in corporate worship.  But it is hard because for many people, being still or a pause in conversation is something that can cause us to feel uncomfortable, agitated or nervous. This reflects our culture’s disconnection and dissonance heavily influenced by stimulation saturation.  And yet people I know of all ages have a deep-rooted longing for quiet, meditative times.   And there are numerous scriptural references supporting the need for stillness and meditation, such as Ps. 46:10, Ps. 77:12 and Is. 30:15. The Bible teaches us that there are appropriate times to be introspective, still and meditative. King David was consistent in his meditation; a process lost on many modern Christians.

Maybe the best starting point for finding a place for stillness and quiet in our corporate worship is to start with being still in our personal worship.  Then in corporate worship we could try something like “We are going to take a moment and simply be still. I want to encourage each of you to close your eyes and take a moment to think about the good things that God has done for you. This doesn’t have to be weird or uncomfortable. We will only take about a minute and jump right back into this chorus.”

All of us, young and old, are swayed by the barrage of today’s frenetic images, sounds and pace. There are a myriad of distractions vying for our attention and heart’s affections. God knows we have a deep need for quiet and stillness. God wants to bring us times of refreshing and restoration, and it is a gift to worship Him in spirit and truth, whether with a joyful noise or in quiet devotion. How do you make space for quiet and stillness in your life?

Creative Suggestions

PowerToChange – Be Still Reflection (15 minute Read with some video to watch)

Nomad Podcast – John Bulter Finding Stillness in a Chaotic World (interview from 15min mark)

Prayers

In the stillness,
in the silence,
we attend to your presence, our God.

And we feel you filling us from within
illuminating our minds
warming our hearts
stirring our spirits
strengthening our hands outstretched
transforming our lives
energising our lives

Until every fibre of our being
is filled with your presence
and we leap up crying,

Blessed are you, God of all life!
Blessed are you
who rejoices in our worship
Blessed are you
who attends to the cry of the poor
Blessed are you
who offers hope in the hard times

Blessed are you, our God
whose name is love
whose presence is light
whose heart is justice
whose gift is grace
whose life is hope

Let our whole being
resonate in praise to you
Let every aspect of our lives
show that we live for you.
Praise be to you, our God,
for ever and ever. Amen.

written by Rob, on the Rob’s Prayers page of the Uniting Church SA website.

God,
Help me to grow still enough
to hear the small noises earth makes
in preparing for the long sleep of winter,
      so that I may grow calm
and grounded deep within.

Help me to grow still enough
to hear the trickling of water
seeping into the ground,
      so that my soul may be softened and healed, guided in its flow.

Help me to grow still enough
to hear the splintering of starlight
in the winter sky
      and the roar at earth’s fiery core.

Help me to grow still enough to hear
the stir of a single snowflake in the air
      so that your inner silence
may turn into hushed expectation.

Peace….. the angel announced.
But peace is as much task as gift.

Only if we become calm as earth,
fluid as water, and blazing as fire
will we be able to rise
to the task of peacemaking,
and the air will stir with the rush of wings of angels arriving to help us.

This is why I pray for
that great inner stillness
which alone allows us to speak,
even today,
   without irony of “peace on earth” and, without despair, to work for it.

—written by Brother David Steindalrast, OSB,

YouTube Videos

A 15 minute YouTube meditation on stillness and quietness with bible references and prompting questions.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpb-bP3-DUs

Walking with God – a guiding walking meditations

         The Mediative Christian – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nooRV_M8YmQ

          Walking with God (upbeat music) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngYWe5PAkp4