Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess,
The beauty of thy peace.
—John Greenleaf Whittier
“Be still, and know that I am God."
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord.”
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.“
Some have asked: What is the difference between prayer and going into the Silence? The answer must depend on what is meant by prayer?
As a rule when people talk about prayer; when they tell you that they have been praying about something, they mean that they have gone down on their knees and told God a great many things; they have also dictated to Him what He should do, and then begged and begged Him to do it. If that is what is meant by prayer then we must unhesitatingly answer that it is not what we mean when we speak of going into the Silence. In the ﬁrst place we believe that the above is a mistaken idea of prayer, and is likely to cloud the spiritual vision by hiding the Real Father God from us. It is a misapprehension of the true nature and character of God. If we will search the Scriptures we shall ﬁnd what true prayer is, and ﬁnding that, we shall know, first: that there is no need to tell God anything because he knows all. Second: There is no need to dictate to God, or tell Him what should be done, for surely the all-knowing and all-loving does not need to be dictated to, or told by man how He should act. Third: We are assured over and over again that God is more willing to bless than we are to be blessed; more willing to give than we are to receive. In all our Divine Lord’s teaching we ﬁnd that the Heavenly Father is ever giving, giving, giving, and in his (our Lord’s) greatest needs we ﬁnd him, not supplicating his Father, but thanking Him for the good already poured out. “And looking up to heaven he gave thanks.” “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me, and I know that thou hearest me always.” Real prayer (asking) is receiving with thanksgiving. It is believing God.
We talk too much to God. That is the trouble. And while we talk we are so deafened by the sound of our own voices we cannot possibly hear His voice. We repeat over and over again our woes, our troubles, our limitations, our trials, our sicknesses and diseases in our prayers, forgetting that every word we speak about them gives them power and (to us) reality, because our words are making them more outstanding and concrete. The more we talk about them, even to God, the more real do they appear to us.
True prayer is communion with God. We go into the Silence to be still and know that He is God. We do not talk to God, we listen while God talks to us. Whatever your difﬁculty; whatever your sorrow; whatever your need, go into the Silence, and with all your heart centered upon God wail for His Word; wait for His Way to be revealed to you, and in the stillness and the quietness light will be thrown upon every difficulty; every sorrow will be turned into joy; you shall receive the Word of healing for the body, and help for every need. Desire is prayer. To think the good we long for is prayer. To hold in the mind the thought of God’s love and goodness is prayer. To believe God is prayer. When the mind is centered on God in stillness and silence then true prayer is known. And where can we pray thus better than in the Silence? Then we shall realize that it is not necessary to inform God of anything we need, “for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” We do not have to make Him willing to give us any good thing, for “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”