If silence is new for you, begin with ten minutes. Setting a timer can help a novice who keeps watching the clock. The timer lets you forget the time and settle into the quiet. Intentionally place yourself in the presence of God and become quiet. As you become quiet what do you hear: voices, traffic, your breath, wind, your heart, distracting thoughts? Let the noise go. Continue to let the quiet deepen. Be with God. After then minutes, reflect on what it was like for you to simply become still enough to hear the background. Try this several times a day. What happens to you? The benefits of being silent are often seen in the fruit it bears rather than in the experience of silence per se.
When doing a task, turn off any background noise and continue the task by offering it to God. Be in the present, doing what you are doing with a listening heart. What is it like for you? What distracts you?
Go into silence. Begin to meditate on Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the LORD/ and he will give you the desires of your heart.” What does this verse say to you? What desires has God put into your heart? What does God say to you about your desires? Stay and wait. Ask for the freedom to delight in God and for ability to know and live out your God-given desires.
Go into silence, placing yourself in the presence of God with the words “Here I am.” As distractions come to mind, let them go by imagining they are boats floating down a river. Let the current take the distractions away. Don’t follow the distractions. Gently return to God repeating “Here I am.” Let the current of God’s Spirit carry you. What is this like for you?
In a place where you can’t be interrupted, intentionally place yourself in the presence of God. Recognize that the Lord is as near as your own breathing. Inhale God’s breath of life; exhale all that weighs on you. Simply be alone with God. When it is time to return to others, leave the presence of God gently. Carry the sense of being alone with God with you into the next thing.
Spend fifteen minutes or more alone with God. You can do an activity if you wish: walk, run, drive, iron. Dedicate the time ahead of you to God. After the time is up, consider how it was for you to be alone with God. Was it hard? Good? Did God speak to you in any way?
Make the time you spend in the shower each morning your alone time with God. Present yourself to your Creator- all of your body, all of the dirt that has accumulated in your soul, all that God has made you to be. Let the water from the shower remind you of the water of life that nourishes and changes you. Let the warmth touch you with love. If you like a cold shower, let the bracing impact call you to live your life to the full. Offer yourself to God for the day. Thank him for the alone time he spends with you.
Spend a half day in silence: no books (other than the Bible), no music, just listen. What surfaces? How often do you want to interact with God about his gift of silence?
If you struggle with silent time, bring a timer with you to prayer. Sit in the quiet and comfortable place where you can attend to the Lord. Take some deep breaths, relaxing your body and quieting your mind. Put the timer on one minute. Become still before the Lord. When a distracting thought comes to mind, count it, but drop it into the river of God’s peace. Let it float down the river. Count each thought that comes up and let it float down river. After one minute, how many thoughts have gone through your mind? Set the timer for another minute. Repeat the same exercise. How many thoughts went through your mind this time? Repeat the exercise one more time. Ride the river of God. What do you find out about quieting your soul? What was it like for you to do this? It takes time to quiet your thoughts; don’t become discouraged. Practice will help you learn how to best quiet yourself.