Be Still and Know

Pastors, in the midst of this post-election week and the cacophony of voices clamoring to be heard, are you struggling with how to proclaim God’s truth, how to shine the light of Christ in our polarized world? Let me invite you in this moment, to step away from the confusion, anxiety and anger that surrounds you and be still with God. Be still and listen to the voice of your heavenly Father who loves you, who cares for you, and who knows your needs. Find a quiet place, if even for just 5 minutes and sink into God’s word and presence through the following 5-point exercise.

  1. Be still with God. Sit comfortably, with your feet flat on the ground, and your hands resting comfortably on your lap. Gently notice your breathing as you become still.
  2. Read God’s Word. Slowly read aloud Psalm 46 (NIV):                                                                                                                1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
    2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
    3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.
    4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
    5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
    6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
    7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
    8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
    9 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
    He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
    10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
    11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
  3. Pray God’s Word. When you are ready, close your eyes and slowly pray through “Be still, and know that I am God” eight times. Each time, leave off the last word. For example:                                                                                                             Be still, and know that I am God
    Be still, and know that I am
    Be still, and know that I
  4. Reflect and listen. Each time you pray the phrase, pause and listen, reflect on what God might be saying to you or talk with God about what comes up for you. Reflect on one area of your life where you need to be still and know that he is God.
  5. Rest in God. As you come to the end of this time, rest in who God is and give thanks — treasure this time with God.  


Additional Tips

  • Don’t rush.
  • You aren’t looking for a preconceived experience or outcome. You are simply inviting the Lord to commune with you, to love you.
  • Find a time and place where it is quiet and you will not be interrupted (closet, car, park, etc.).
  • Have paper and pen handy to write down your experience, positive or negative, if you desire.

Spiritual contributor: Linda Gist is a spiritual formation director in Sacramento, California. She is a graduate of the Renovare© Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation and regularly leads retreats for pastors.

Executive editor: Russ Gunsalus

Curator of content: Dave Higle