Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Alice Kaholusuna recounts a story of how the Hawaiian people would sit outside their temples for a lengthy amount of time preparing themselves before entering in. Even after entering, they would creep to the altar to offer their prayers. Afterward, they would sit outside again for a long time to “breathe life” into their prayers. When missionaries came to the island, the Hawaiians sometimes considered their prayers odd. The missionaries would stand up, utter a few sentences, call them “prayer,” say amen, and be done with it. The Hawaiians described these prayers as “without breath.”
Alice’s story speaks of how God’s people may not always take the opportunity to “be still, and know” (Psalm 46:10). Make no mistake—God hears our prayers, whether they’re quick or slow. But often the pace of our lives mimics the pace of our hearts, and we need to allow ample time for God to speak into not only our lives but the lives of those around us. How many life-giving moments have we missed by rushing, saying amen, and being done with it?
We’re often impatient with everything from slow people to the slow lane in traffic. Yet, I believe God in His kindness says, “Be still. Breathe in and out. Go slow, and remember that I am God, your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” To do so is to know that God is God. To do so is to trust. To do so is to live.
Recall a time when you slowed down and listened to God in your prayer time. How did that feel? What actions can you put into place to still yourself in God’s presence and know Him?
Father, thank You for being my ever-present help in good times and bad. Give me the grace to be still and know that You’re God.
Read Praying with Confidence at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0712.
Psalm 46 has been a source of encouragement to many over the years—including reformer Martin Luther. In fact, he based the classic hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” on this psalm. During times of struggle, “when terribly discouraged, he would turn to his co-worker, Philipp Melanchthon, and say, ‘Come, Philipp, let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm’ ” (Ligonier Ministries, Luther and the Psalms: His Solace and Strength).
This mighty fortress describes the God of strength who’s our refuge and the God who calls us to find our rest in Him. In the New Testament, Jesus personalized that rest when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). In the midst of the cares and despairs of life, we can stop, be still, and find refuge in God.
To learn how to best read the Psalms, visit ChristianUniversity.org/OT020.