by A.W. Tozer

There are truths that can never be learned except in the

noise and confusion of the market-place or in the tough

brutality of combat. The tumult and the shouting teach

their own rough lessons...

But there is another school where the soul must go to

learn its best eternal lessons. It is the school of silence.

"Be still and know," said the psalmist, and there is a

profound philosophy there, of universal application.

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, "I was dumb with

silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my

sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me; while

I was musing the fire burned: then spake I 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 a silent heart are indispensable

for the reception of certain kinds of truth. No man is

qualified to speak who has not first listened. It might

well be a wonderful revelation to some Christians if they

were to get completely quiet for a short time, long

enough, let us say, to get acquainted with their own

souls, and to listen in the silence for the deep voice of

the Eternal God. The experience, if repeated often

enough, would do more to cure our ulcers than all the

pills that ever rolled across a desk.