Worshiping in Silence

There is another kind of worship that is equally pleasing to the Lord. Scripture teaches us to be silent before the Lord in reverence and holy fear.

Topic: Worship & Idolatry

When I think of worship, I naturally think of music, nature, service and the study of Scripture. But there is another kind of worship that is equally pleasing to the Lord. Habakkuk 2:20 says, “But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” Scripture teaches us to be silent before the Lord in reverence and holy fear.

This may be the most difficult form of worship for our culture. We are so busy talking that we rarely stop to listen. We don’t spend enough time allowing our hearts to rest on the truth of His character. But moments of silence and waiting before the Lord produce a deeper understanding of the Lord’s love for us and power toward us. Paul prays that the Ephesians would have power to grasp the love of Christ to be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:14-21). I desperately want to know that love and receive its fullness!

But what does it take to be silent before the Lord? Well, I believe worshiping in silence is most difficult because there is nothing we have to do to achieve silence. It requires the opposite of doing. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble when there’s no task in front of me. My mind wanders, and I become easily frustrated. I want to feel productive in my time with the Lord. But if I neglect the command to be silent before the Lord, I miss out on a key component of worship. In fact, without silence, I may miss His voice altogether.

I find that silence comes more easily when I lay aside all my thoughts and anxieties, which I sometimes do by making a list or journaling or praying. Then I simply go to the Lord and ask Him to quiet my spirit. I ask Him to speak to me and give me the power to hold my tongue. I ask Him to reveal Himself to me in whatever way He chooses. Sometimes He calls to mind a Scripture on which I can meditate; sometimes He shows me a picture of His love and character; and sometimes He just brings rest to my soul as I sit inside the strong tower that is His Name (Prov. 18:10).

My encouragement is to be silent. Find moments of quiet communion with the Lord. In those moments, He will speak and shower His love. He promises to be faithful.

Related Resources


Why Was the Golden Idol a Calf?

Jen Wilkin

We have a tendency to take something important in culture and combine it with our worship of the Lord. We tell ourselves that we can make that work when in reality, we are creating idols.


#30 - James K. A. Smith on the Spiritual Practice of Habit

The Village Church

We chat with JT English about our vision for theological education and The Village Church Institute and then talk with James K. A. Smith about liturgy, formation and Smith’s new book, You Are What You Love. And to wrap up, we do some #AskTVC.