Silence in worship contains revelation and response. In our silent worship, we are drawn deeper into God’s presence because our tounges and mind are still.
Silence is most understood in private worship. Most every believer has sensed awe when standing quietly in God’s creation or while praying and listening for God’s voice. Silence can have a major impact on our lives and God can lead us in it.
But silence in corporate worship is not as cut and dried. It’s not easy to know what to do.
There is the silence that comes from a moment when we can sense God’s hand at work in us – right there in our midst. And there is also the silence that comes in almost an embarrassing way. We wish a song would break out or someone would say something – but instead, it is just quiet.
God works in these times.
Scripture speaks to silence. Here are just a few verses:
Psalm 62:5-6 My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
Zephaniah 1:7 Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign LORD, for the awesome day of the LORD’s judgment, is near. The LORD has prepared his people for a great slaughter and has chosen their executioners.
Psalm 37:7 Be silent in the LORD’s presence and wait patiently for him. Don’t be angry because of the one whose way prospers or the one who implements evil schemes.
Any season can be busy and often, corporate worship is a reflection of our nature to fill every existing spot in the schedule. In fact, very often, we pride ourselves on flow and lack of “dead space” during times of worship.
Unplanned times of awkward silence in worship where the worship team is unprepared may become a barrier. But when we aren’t afraid of the quiet – and invite people to intentionally wait on the Lord in silence, revelation and response both come.
Give your church the opportunity to experience these times in worship.
(I was inspired on this topic after re-reading Matt Redman’s book, Facedown.)