The Sound Of Silence

February 23, 2016
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Psalm 46:10a – Be still, and know that I am God. (KJV)

This beautiful verse was written in calligraphy and appeared in a frame on the wall of an old Anglican church in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. For several years, I played the organ for Sunday evening services at that church. It was a small group, and an attitude of peace prevailed, except when the vibrations from the organ pipes disturbed one of the bats that made the church its home. The service made room for silent prayer, and I always left feeling closer to God than when I had arrived.

How hard it is to be still these days! We try to schedule every waking moment, and when we get a break, we use it to check our emails. But silence and stillness are important. The following passage tells how the Lord spoke to the prophet Elijah.

1 Kings 19:11b-12 – And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (KJV)

It was with this still, small voice that the Lord spoke to Elijah and speaks to us today. So let's take time every day to turn off our electronic devices and our television sets and spend time listening for the voice of the Lord. Let us pray as did John Greenleaf Whittier in his beautiful hymn:

    Breathe through the heats of our desire
    Thy coolness and Thy balm;
    Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
    Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
    O still small voice of calm.

Prayer: Dear Lord and Father of us all, thank You for gifts of silence, stillness, and peace. Speak to us when we come before You, and help us to draw ever closer to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Richard Frith <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    A beautiful devotional. Thank you very much for such timely reminders of being still.

    How true it is Richard!

    Richard, Thank you for this reminder to listen for God’s voice by growing quiet amist the clamour of our daily lives. Blessings.

    Thanks for the invitation to be silent. We have need for this reminder more now in our advanced world; we need stillness to actually get our bearings. Warmest wishes as you witness.

    I needed that, Richard.
    We/I so often try to escape the still small Voice.
    And I had never noticed the connection between the hymn and the Elijah story. Thank you.

    Dear Richard – I loved your devotional today. One of my favourite hymns is “be still and know that I am God”. I also thought it was appropriate that one of my friends posted on facebook yesterday a comment that said – did you notice that LISTEN and SILENT both have the same letters in them? I found that also to be a ‘hmmmm’ moment when you hear that still small voice speaking to you – and just feel a gentle nudge to pay attention!
    Thanks again for a beautiful and timely reminder!

    Dear Richard Frith,
    Such a beautiful message of the presence of God!
    Thank you. Keep writing.

    Thanks for reminding us of the need to be still for God’s voice. Our services tend to be too noisy nowadays. May God give us this stillness in the storms of our lives.

    Thank you Richard. This is a beautiful and very necessary reminder in these hectic days in which we are living.
    Bless you.

    Hi Richard,
    It has been some time since you wrote about the still small voice. I just love that passage of scripture and have used it for a message quite often as a matter of fact. I can always picture the prophet running all over the place looking for peace and then he finds it in the stillness of the cave.

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