11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  I Kings 19:11-13 NIV

We spent the weekend up at St. John’s camp with several youth. It was our church’s Weekend Adventure. Our focus for the weekend was primarily on prayer – connecting with God through the practice of prayer.  How does one pray?

I have struggled with this my whole life. Give me a Bible, commentary, or devotional and I’m on it!  Prayer comes harder. My ADD mind doesn’t want to settle. My prayers often look like rabbit trails darting this way and that.  I can imagine our Lord scratching his head as he tries to interpret my train of thought! 

In our fast-paced culture, settling our minds can be difficult.  We are addicted to busyness. Gotta have a purpose, gotta have a goal. God forbid that we are idle, even in prayer! Thanks to some very wise souls in our St. John’s Sunday School class, I have become more aware of the role of silence in prayer.  Blessed silence – God’s opportunity to renew and rejuvenate.

We discussed different aspects of prayer with the youth. Truly, when life hits us with proverbial earthquakes and fire as our verse states, we are compelled to scream above the furor of life!  Words are important, and the need to shout out to God – to name our struggles or the struggles of others, is absolutely part of prayer.  But … God was most present to Elijah in the gentle wind, a whisper. When do we hang around for the gentle wind? 

In walking the prayer labyrinth up at camp, we were all silent. The only thing to be heard was the rustling leaves in the gentle breeze, the conversation of birds in the branches above us, and the buzzing of insects in our perimeter.  God’s gentle whisper, and in that moment – healing.

May you enjoy a little silence this week!

Diana  Kongkeattikul