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Perspectives: Why Silent Worship is Not Dying Soon

By Samuel Wanjala

In Kenya today, there has arisen a generation that just loves noise. For the sake of the reader, I define noise as any unorganized sound that is unpleasing to the ear.

To illustrate what I mean think of an example of where you enter a church the size of a classroom, but it is fitted with four to six large box speakers. The volume is so loud that you can neither pray nor worship. The preacher in this church sounds like he is quarreling with people.

And finally, as you enter a prayer meeting, you see brethren walking around while shouting in the name of prayer. If you want to know what the people prayed for, ask them, “What did you pray about today?” Usually they have no specific answers.

The absence of noise, silence, is very powerful. It helps you concentrate your mind, your thoughts and even your words. I find this very essential in prayer. The word of God in Eccle­siastes 5:1 states, “…guard your steps when you go to the house of God… be more ready to listen…do not be hasty to speak… let your words be few.” I believe God is looking for somebody in which He can confide. It is my belief that God, too, has secrets which He desires to reveal to us. To reach this level of spiritual maturity you must develop a habit of consistently listening to God. The listening is done without noise, in silence.

One day I was home fencing out our small plot of land. This exercise involved blocking many illegal paths that were going through the farm. This enraged the regular users of the paths to drinking dens of local brews around our farm. One man, a known witch, came and threatened me to either remove the fence or I will test his magic. In fear I quietly prayed… Lord, protect me from this man. My fear was immediately replaced with faith and courage. I continued with the work. I forgot about it. Two days later I came to check on the projects on the farm and met the same man in a wheel chair. He almost died in an accident, the very thing with which he threatened me.

On several occasions I’ve gone out to minister. Look­ing at the hunger for God in people, I felt weak and asked the Lord to strengthen me in silence and He has always done it.

God has never competed for our attention with any other. He is a jealous God.

Elijah, while on the mountain after running away from Jezebel, waited for God. He was not in the earthquake, neither in the strong wind but in the still small voice. God worked with Noah because Noah knew how to obey God’s instructions to the letter.

Patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, and Noah, among others, knew how to separate God’s voice from many other voices.

In our time and age, there are lots of noises from the tele­vision, internet, newspapers and the urban noise. The noise is unpleasant to our spiritual ear and is competing for our attention. The challenge is to maintain an environment of silence; sound proof systems around our hearts to be able to hear God in our homes, on the road to work, in our offices and in church.

Samuel Wanjala is a member of Kitale Monthly Meeting, Elgon East Yearly Meeting, Kenya.