"Be Still" Invites Viewers to Discover Contemplative Prayer
- Monday, March 27, 2006
Do you find it hard to connect with God in the midst of our frenzied world?
People use technology like cell phones, e-mail, and pagers to clamor for your attention, and media assault your senses with information overload. A packed schedule places constant demands on you as you try to fit too many activities into too little time. No wonder it’s often challenging to heed God’s call in Psalms 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Now a new DVD, "Be Still," aims to help you discover the time-honored practice of contemplative prayer. A myriad of Christian authors, speakers, and ministers discuss turning off the world’s voices so you can tune into God’s voice. Through silent reflection on Scripture verses, they say, you can discover a fresh message from God that will bring you peace when you’re troubled and passion when you’re fatigued.
"Be Still" creator Amy Reinhold wanted to pursue the project with her husband Judge (who narrates the film) after they experienced the power of contemplative prayer in their small group Bible study. “My husband and I wanted to find a way to introduce others in the modern church to this beautiful early church practice,” she says. “We wanted people to know that you don’t have to be a super scholar or saint to experience this type of listening prayer and intimacy with God.”
In contemplative prayer, the focus is on listening to God instead of talking to Him. Rather than presenting God with a list of requests of what you want Him to do for you, you simply seek to know more about God Himself.
“I like to think of it as any good relationship,” Reinhold says. “Imagine if you went to spend time with one of your favorite people, and they handed you their grocery list and said they had to go, but they had a really great time with you and would come back to pick up everything from you later … or if you called a close friend to share something very intimate, and that person simply talked for a while and then hung up before you said a word. God yearns for an intimate relationship with us. I think if we truly want to know God, we will seek Him, and as we start to experience His presence, we will crave more of Him in every area of our lives.”
You might protest that you don’t have time for contemplative prayer. But "Be Still" emphasizes that the practice isn’t a frivolous escape from the world, but an essential part of a busy person’s life, because it helps order your priorities, gives you strength for each day, and can even lower your blood pressure and improve your breathing. “If we never make the time to do this, we will continue to carry more and more of the weight of the world every day,” Reinhold says.
Making time for contemplative prayer is simple to do, she says. “Make an appointment to spend a little time with God each day. Don’t place an expectation on yourself that isn’t practical, or you will never stick to it. Look for times to stop and grab ‘be still’ moments. One of my favorite times is when I pull into the driveway after being out in traffic or running errands. There is a perfect silence just as I turn the car off and the door is still closed. Sometimes I will sit in the driveway with the Lord for five or 10 minutes before I go into the house. We have these moments all throughout our day, but if we don’t make time to learn to recognize them, we won’t notice them and will miss God’s little gifts of silence and peace.”
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