The Prayer of Silence

Wellness Christian Buddhist Prayer Lisa Tolliver Meditation Louisville KY

Over at his blog, another priest, Fr. Michael Marsh, writes about a moment when his prayer ‘went still.’ He felt he had no words. The way he describes it, it was a very tender feeling, but also alive with the presence of the Holy. In fact, ‘Still prayer’ or ‘the prayer of quiet’ are other names for Christian meditation. His short post (below) conveys the peace which can come from this form of prayer.

Prayer begins when the words end

Psalm 62:1. “For God alone my soul in silence waits; from him comes my salvation.”

Michael+ writes: One Sunday, years ago, I knelt to pray before the liturgy began, as was my usual practice. I always had something to tell or ask God. This day, however, was different. I had no words. It wasn’t that I had nothing to say—I simply lacked words capable of expressing what was within me. After several failed attempts to say something to God, I was left waiting in silence.

In that stillness, I faced my own powerlessness and felt my needs more acutely. There was nothing I could say or do—I had reached the limits of my own self-sufficiency and discovered the starting place of prayer. Prayer begins when the words end.

The silence I felt that morning was not so much about the absence of my words as it was about God being present to me. The silence created a space and a place for God and me to both show up—an interior sanctuary of intimacy and vulnerability.

The words were gone; I had nothing to offer but myself. The silence revealed me to myself and held me before God. I was the expression of my prayer, and God was the response.

*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day. The italics, above, are mine, not Michael’s.

Found on the web at

Prayer Begins When the Words End