Friday, November 20, 2009
The Danger of "Quiet" Times
We are all Gnostics to some degree, perennially inclined to favor the spirit over the body, preferring isolation to community, and prone to reduce our religion to "right-thinking" devoid of loving deeds. But God likes matter. He created it. And He likes community. He created that too.
In fact, He likes them so much that He has eternally joined Himself to human flesh so that He can live in community with mankind forever.
For those of you silently objecting to the charge of Gnosticism right now I have an observation and a question. Firstly, why are you objecting silently? Why aren't you railing at your computer screen out-loud? And secondly, when you pray alone, do you do so silently or vocally? Do you pray with or without the body that God has given you?
As Justin Taylor observes here there really is no Biblical warrant for silent prayer. The psalmists, prophets and even Jesus himself prayed spirit and body.
Is it mere coincidence that that vibrant, communal, public, service-oriented religion is waning at the same time that "Quiet Times" are held in such high esteem? I think not. As our fathers-in-the-faith noted, "Lex orandi, lex credendi" (The law of prayer is the law of faith.) In other words, how we pray shapes what we believe and ultimately how we live. This is no trifling matter.
So stop praying silently like Socrates, and start praying vocally like David and Daniel. Turn your quiet-times into noisy -times; daily discipling yourself to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.