Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. Isaiah 12:6 KJV
It seems that everyone is insisting lately that we have a “Daily Quiet Time.” But with all the discussion about it, maybe we have gotten a little off track. For starters, the phrase quiet time doesn’t occur anywhere that I know of in the Bible. Of course Jesus spent plenty of time teaching about prayer, but the prayers we read about in the Gospels are not always private and very few of them were quiet. In fact if we prayed like Jesus prayed, our time would be far from quiet –
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, … Hebrews 5:7
And King David did not have much to say about quiet prayer either.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:6
You could add to the list of these noisy prayers others; like Moses who was often crying out to the Lord because not a day went by without a problem, first in Egypt with Pharaoh, then in the wilderness with complaining Israelites. Elijah prayed loud enough for thousands to hear him on Mount Carmel and those loud prayers didn’t stop in the Old Testament. During Jesus’ ministry the Syro-Phoenician woman with a demon possessed daughter had the disciples begging Jesus to send her away because she was crying out too much. Then we all remember Blind Bartimaeus, whose friends kept insisting he sit down and shut up. But Jesus wasn’t disturbed at all by his noisy request. What impressed Jesus then and what impresses God today is when we believe in His ability and willingness to answer us so much that we cry out to Him from the bottom of our hearts. God values neither quietness nor loudness but when you and I need Him way too much to be quiet!
9 thoughts on “Quiet Time or Prayer?”
This is a fascinating perspective, Pastor Pete. We hear a great deal about being still before the Lord, but sometimes it’s necessary to, “Pull the rope boldly,” as C.H. Spurgeon said.
Oh I haven’t heard that one. Yes Spurgeon does have a wonderful way with words.
I looked back for the source of the Spurgeon quote. He was speaking in reference to Hebrews 4:14-16. What he said goes hand in glove with your point! Here’s the quote in it’s entirety:
“Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might.” C.H. Spurgeon
I found this quote in a wonderful little book called “The Quotable Spurgeon,” by Lewis A. Drummond, published by Harold Shaw Press. The book is topical and laid out much like a devotional, where a scripture passage is followed by commentary from Spurgeon himself.
Thank you for taking the time to look this all up. I have read a little of Spurgeon’s morning and evening and a bit of his life’s story but I will check out your suggested reading.
You’ve raised an interesting question, Pastor Pete! Perhaps Quiet Time became the go-to term, based on the idea of spending moments of quiet contemplation with God, enjoyed in peace and relaxation (based on one of the Mirriam-Webster definitions of “quiet”). Wonder if an internet search would turn up any accurate background of the term? I’m old enough to remember when quiet time was called “devotions!”
Me too and I think that in part the overemphasis of “quiet contemplation” minimizes the importance of doing the practical things Jesus gives us to do.
You’ve given me much to think on Pastor Pete. Several years back our church bought into the loud concert style of worship with flashing lights and amped up bass that leaves your chest and head pounding. About that time there was also a shift in prayer style. Now after a head banging round of music we’re invited to “quiet time” in prayer before the Lord. At this point I’m so desperate for quiet I forgot about how it used to be. I remember back and it really wasn’t all that long ago (less than a decade) when the loudest part of a Sunday morning service was the invitation to pray corporately to cry out to the Lord. That was truly a beautiful “loud.” The harmony of voices as people lifted their voices to the Lord. I miss that kind of loud.
Me too Beth. Yes we have the same worship style and even with pastor teaching on prayer these last two weeks we have had very little of serious corporate prayer. I am not sure of the answer but believe it is healthy and helpful to ask honest questions. Jesus gave us His best teaching when people asked him questions.
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