Silence Is Golden

Tuesday, January 17, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Jesus The Very Thought Of Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 6:6 – But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (NLT)

Some silence is golden.

The sound of silence was written by Paul Simon — of the duo Simon and Garfunkle — over several months between 1963 and 1964. In 1966, the song — which tells of a man who failed to communicate — hit number one on the Billboard 100.

Although silence can have damaging effects, it can also be golden. After teaching more than one hundred middle school students daily, I'm ready for silence when I get home. Following one end-of-first-semester party for our middle schoolers at the local bowling alley — one that my wife attended with me — my wife finally understood why I want silence when I arrive at home.

Jesus thought a great deal of silence also. People almost constantly mobbed Him, wanting to hear Him teach, see Him perform miracles, or do something for them. Along with those who wanted something were the religious hound dogs who constantly looked for some reason to arrest and even kill Him. Getting away by Himself or with His disciples was essential for maintaining His sanity and that of the disciples. It is for ours also.

A little white noise is good. My wife and I sleep year-round with fans blowing and the sound of crickets chirping. When there is complete silence, we can't sleep. But the other types of noises that often characterize a day — loud voices, machines, vehicles, horns, train whistles, screaming kids, shouting customers, television shows, and Internet voices — can drown out the voice that we most critically need to hear. While God can speak amid the noise, we're more apt not to hear Him when noise abounds. Jesus says that we need to get in our prayer closets — whether we take that literally or not.

Silence helps with focus. Not only do we want to hear God's voice, but we also want to focus on what He's saying. We need to hear Him clearly so that we can think soberly. Silence is necessary for accomplishing this task.

Obedience is easier when we can hear God unmistakably and focus on what He's saying. When we obey, peace follows. We reach peace when we submit to God's will and consistently follow it. Anything less will produce noise.

Let each of us find a place and time daily to be silent before God.

Prayer: Father, we long for silence so that we can hear Your Spirit speak clearly to our spirits. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Got the message! Thanks.

    Thanks for what you do — sharing God’s word.

    COVID has caused silence for isolated seniors a problem – loneliness.

    Thanks, Martin. I also taught middle school, so I get it! And, unlike many, I prefer silence at home — no radio, tv, etc. during the day.

    You’re right, Martin, that it takes focus and effort to hear God’s voice. Jesus set a good example by praying early in the morning before the cares and noise of the day swept in.

    Amen, Martin! Could that need for silence be why so many live alone in their Senior years? Even my wee dog seems to sense when silence is golden!
    Blessings, and thanks for sharing.

    Martin, you need to move up here! You could have all the peace and quiet you want. And the K to 3 class only has ten students. The 4-7 class is about the same. You’d love it, but remember to pack your parka.

    Wonderful Martin! However, silence means time with self… means we enjoy spending time with self and of course with the Almighty which can be scary and challenging for some. Because of authenticity… confronts.

    Hi Martin,
    That was a great devotional today, thanks so much for sharing. Thanks for sharing your talents with us!!
    Blessings to you and your family.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Thanks, Martin, for another of your special writings. Your words are “right on” as it is important that we take time to find a quiet spot and listen to the Holy Spirit working in our lives. It makes a definite difference in our day to read and ponder the words of our Lord instead of rushing off to do some reckless thing. Blessings for your thoughtful writings.

    Good morning, Martin. Prior to reading your devotional today, I happened to be sitting in silence while praying for my family members. How wonderful to enjoy the silence as I am one who is easily distracted. Then I turned on my iPad and lo and behold, your devotional was reaffirming what I had just experienced. (Can you tell I’m admitting I don’t always stay still long enough to really focus…). Thanks so much for the reminder.
    Blessings and peace to you.

    Good morning, Martin,
    I use the phrase “Be still and know that I am God” when I need to calm down and listen. To me it is similar to “Silence is Golden” and both can help someone seek time in prayer with God when we are struggling or when we want that comfort of feeling God near us.
    When I travel on public transit and the children are coming home from school, I understand about the noise that children make. I also remember being one of those children and the exciting talk while we walked on the way home from school. Because we were outside on the street, it was not as loud as when the children are on the bus in the confined space.
    Jesus definitely did seek quiet places to pray to His Father. We all need that quiet time so we can focus on what we want to share with God. Thanks for the many good points you made in your devotional and the encouragement you provide for others. Blessings.

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