Silence Is The Least Emphasized Aspect Of Worship
When church historians look back on our time it’s likely that it will be noted as a time during which worship received special attention. That doesn’t mean that those who lived before this era didn’t value worship. I grew up in the 1960’s when churches had hymn books, pianos and organs. Occasionally someone would play the accordion, remember those? I enjoy our contemporary style of worship today but I was able to worship just fine back then, even though we didn’t call it worship.
Which raises a hotly debated question. What is worship? When people define worship in the context of church some say it’s singing, others add prayer and praise and still others say it’s everything we do in church, including the preaching, offering and even the announcements! I agree there’s some truth that worship includes all of that, except maybe the announcement about Bingo on Wednesday night.
I’ve noticed there’s something that’s generally not emphasized in contemporary worship, the role of silence. Silence is emphasized as a spiritual discipline but not as worship. Silence is uncomfortable for most of us. We use the phrase “awkward silence” to describe the discomfort associated with not knowing what to say in a situation.
Most of us think that the throne room of heaven is a cacophony of endless worship Revelation 4:1-11. There are also times of silence. The prophet Habakkuk talks about the foolishness of worshiping idols. He says that no matter what one says to an idol it just sits there silent. In contrast the Lord is in His holy temple and all the earth is to keep silence before Him Habakkuk 2:20. There is a time to be silent before Him.
Another picture of silence in heaven is mentioned in Revelation 8. The passage describes the future judgment of God in the last days. The book of Revelation is complex and filled with strange imagery. There are many things that are hard to understand, but the reaction to the opening of this seventh seal of judgement is not.
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Revelation 8:1
It doesn’t give the reason for the silence, so we can only imagine. What would bring about total silence in heaven for that long? It must be some awesome and terrible thing the Lord is going to bring about.
Here are 5 things to consider if you want to incorporate silence into your worship.
5 Aspects of Silence as Part of Worship
- Choose silence. Be intentional about incorporating this into your worship.
- Humble yourself. Acknowledge by your silence that what you could say at that moment isn’t that important.
- Pay attention. Focus your undivided attention on the Father, Son and Spirit.
- Imagine God. Think about Him, His greatness, wonder and love and more!
- Delight In God. Allow the joy and peace of God to fill your heart, mind and soul.
We are all so busy that it’s hard to imagine incorporating a time of silent worship into our schedules. It will enable you to think more about the Father, Son and Spirit. That makes it worth the effort.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or question below.