God has given his people express commands governing the turbulence of their own hearts and the peace that he offers and expects. None stands out so markedly as Isaiah 30:15 which declares that the Lord's purpose is for his people to find quietness and confidence before Him. The indictment was that his people "WOULD NOT" and therefore had no peace.
Isaiah 30:15 ESV For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." But you were unwilling,
Isaiah 32:17 ESV And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
Psalms 46:10 ESV "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
It is the mandate of God that we still ourselves before him in order to find his peace and hear his voice. So thus we have as the first and most important step in the believer's prayer life to STILL OURSELVES before the Lord. The New Testament similarly reflects the same need of mental quietness when it refers to bringing...
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
We live in a busy, noisy, tumultuous society. There is noise and demands for our attention almost constantly every waking hour. There are no quiet Judean hillsides for us to retreat to daily for prayer. Therefore we must find an inner solitude in the Lord's presence.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: HOW TO STILL YOUR MIND:
Find a quiet undisturbed place. Jesus called it a closet of prayer. That means you are to be alone. "Shut the door" refers to locking out every distraction and interruption!
Kneel in the Lord's presence. (Only under real medical prohibition should you do otherwise. Kneeling or prostrate are worship positions.) You need not be uncomfortable but neither should you be lazy in prayer. Philippians 2:10-11
Make your mind stop its commotion and noise! Listen to the din of confused voices reminding you of duties, tasks and obligations. Silence them! Your mind is not a noisy playground. It is a sanctuary. Your mind is yours. Make it obey you. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Bring it into subjection to Christ." Prov. 25:28 "He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city without walls." 1 Peter 1:13 "Gird up the loins of your mind." Take control of your thoughts!
Slow down! Relax! Refuse to be rushed in the presence of God Consciously loose the tension of every muscle. Begin with your neck, then shoulders, arms back, thighs, legs and finally your feet. It won't come naturally so work at learning to BE QUIET! 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Breathe slowly. Inhale slowly! Exhale slowly! (I am not speaking about nor indorsing yoga). At first take long slow deep breaths. Hold it a few seconds. Let it out slowly. Control it! You'll be amazed at how it begins to quiet your body, which in turn effect thoughts too. Remember that if you cannot control your body, you cannot expect to control you spirit either. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ."..I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection..."
Refuse to go on to the next step until the body and mind have obeyed you. If they are not subject to your will, neither will the rest of your thoughts in prayer. If you cannot exercise authority over your own body and mind how will you exercise spiritual authority in prayer. If you cannot bring your own body and mind into subjection how will you wrestle with spiritual forces and win? Proverbs 24:10 "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."
This step is by far the most difficult! That is because it is the most contradictory to our natural lifestyles. Is it any wonder we do not hear the voice of God, as we would like to? Though it is the most difficult, once mastered, will bring the most satisfaction. Keep at it. Three minutes is not much but it seems and eternity when we are trained by business to be TOO BUSY TO PRAY!