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This is one way to know God. 'Be still and know that I am God'.

''God is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him'.

A score of years ago a friend placed in my hand a little book which became one of the turning points in my life. It was called True Peace.

It was a medieval message and it had but one thought, and it was this - that God was waiting in the depth of my being to talk to me if only I would get still enough to hear his voice.

I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so I began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamouring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din.

Some of them were my own voice, some of them were my prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter, and the voices of the world's turmoil. Never before did there seem so many things to be done, to be said, to be thought:and in every direction I was pushed and pulled, and greeted with noisy acclamations of unspeakable unrest.

It seemed necesssary for me to listen to some of them, But God said, 'Be still, and know that I am God'.

Then came the conflict of thoughts for the morrow, and its duties and cares; but God said "Be still', and as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found, after a while, that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still, small  voice in the depth of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.

As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, and the voice of wisdom, and the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard, but that 'still, small voice' of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God's prayer in my secret soul, was God's answerto all my questions, was God's life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, andall prayer, and all belessing: for it was the living God himself as my life and my all.

This is our spirit's deepest need.

- brief extract from 'The power of Stillness' by John Edward Southhall describes his experience of silence as the vital element in his approach to religion and life.

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