3.28.2012

What is the use of silent prayer? Why do we need that?

What is the use of silent prayer? Why do we need that?

I was leading a retreat the other day at a Christian Retreat Center.
After my first presentation, a person asked me: what is the use of silent prayer?
Why do we need that?
He had a scientific mind and wanted to know what the benefit of silent prayer was. My answer to him was a longer one. But I would like to share a part of it.

There is so many way we pray.
Silent prayer is one of them.
Silent prayer or contemplative prayer is good for those who like to discern God’s way in their own life.
It helps you to get to know more about God and yourself.
It is like taking an inward journey of yourself.

God is communicating with us in various ways.
So, during silent prayer, you examine how God has been communicating with you.
If you recognize it, you can enjoy God’s guidance for your life.

One way to examine about this is to think about how you have been feeling lately.
It is because our feeling often informs us whether we are in tune with God or not.

So, in terms of examining God’s gentle guidance through your change of feeling, here are two questions that you may consider.

What does it feel like when you are in tune with God?
What does it feel like when you are NOT in tune with God?

Mostly, when we are in tune with God, we feel good. We feel alive.
So, here are some of feelings that you may feel when you are in tune with God:

o You are peaceful, whether you are busy or not.
o Everything seems move smoothly.
o You feel calm and easygoing.
o You feel freedom.
o You feel God’s grace for your life.
o God seems working through you as well as people around you.
o You are grateful.
o Out of nowhere, you have faith, hope, and love.
o Suddenly, you feel like you love everyone.
o Suddenly, you are full of hope.
o You are able to calmly listen first, then plan and work.
o You have a quiet conviction for your life. You feel like, “This is it!”

Now what does it feel like when you are NOT in tune with God?

o You worry a lot. So, you spend a lot of times watching TV.
o You become grumpy, or anxious.
o You get easily upset.
o You feel sad, without a specific reason.
o You are not accomplishing much, but you are very busy.
o You feel people don’t care.
o You feel like you are doing everything.
You don’t feel like God is there to help you. You feel like, “I am alone in this.
I alone have to do all these.”
o You do things because you feel you got to do.
But you know you are not in it.
o You feel like your life becomes tough.
o You go through the motions.

If you recognize these feelings, you may be able to discern where you are with God, and then choose better choices for your life.
This is really a very brief description.
But it may help your journey of living in tune with God.