I was reading Henri Nouwen’s Book, Reaching Out and was impacted by this statement regarding prayer. He notes, “…three ‘rules’ are always observed: a contemplative reading of the Word of God, a silent listening to the voice of God, and a trusting obedience to a spiritual guide,” (p. 135). He goes on to say, “Without the Bible, without silent time and without someone to direct us, finding our own way to God is very hard and practically impossible.”
I have to say after forty years of ministry and as a Baptist I’ve come to appreciate what Nouwen is saying. The Word of God, with the Holy Spirit, is the foundation, the root of our coming to know and love our God and Savior. Yet, this requires not just reading but also sitting with God’s Word and most of all listening (in silence). Then sharing those words and experiences with a spiritual director, a brother or sister in Christ.
Why this took me so long to come to understand and enjoy is hard for me to grasp. But…I am in the right place and the right time to enjoy sitting with my God letting the “silence move me” closer into a deeper relationship. I would encourage every believer to find a spiritual director and experience this as well.
If you ever need help doing so give me a call.