A Closed Mouth and a Silent Heart
by Pastor Gene
“My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue” (Psalm 39:3).
Prayer among evangelical Christians is always in danger of degenerating into a glorified gold rush. Almost every book on prayer deals with the “get” element mainly. How to get things we want from God occupies most of the space.
Now, we gladly admit that we may ask for and receive specific gifts and benefits in answer to prayer, but we must never forget that the highest kind of prayer is never the making of requests. Prayer at its holiest moment is the entering into God to a place of such blessed union as makes miracles seem tame and remarkable answers to prayer appear something very far short of wonderful by comparison.
Holy men of soberer and quieter times than ours knew well the power of silence. David said, “My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue.”
There is a tip here for God’s modern prophets. The heart seldom gets hot while the mouth is open. A closed mouth before God and silent heart are indispensable for the reception of certain kinds of truth. No man is qualified to speak who has not first listened.
From A.W. Tozer, Set of the Sail: Directions for Your Spiritual Journey, pp. 14-15.
- Tozer suggests that prayer is more than speaking and asking something of God. He says it is “the entering into God to a place of such blessed union as makes miracles seem tame.” Prayer, then, is more about communion than anything else. Unfortunately, the prayer experience of many believers is essentially the expressing of a list of needs or desires. How does Tozer’s view of prayer line up with your own experience and practice?
- In Psalm 39:3, David wrote: “My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue.” David presents a kind of ‘order’ of his prayer time here: musing before speaking. “Mused” is another word for ‘meditated’ and is rendered that way in a number of Bible translations. What is meditation to you? What part if any does it play in your own prayer time? What is it that you muse upon? What is the benefit of musing (meditating) before speaking?
- What is the value of silence in our prayer time? What do we expect to happen when we’re quiet before the Lord? What are the challenges of being silent in prayer?
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