In one of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos entitled, “Noise,” he talks about a guy named Bernie Krause who does recordings of nature sounds.  Apparently it takes Bernie over 2000 hours of recording sound in the world around us to gain 1 hour of collective silence.  In 1968 it took Bernie only 15 hours of recorded noise to achieve 1 hour of silence.  Our world has gotten noisier.  With our cell phones, hundreds of television stations and satellite radios (so you won’t even experience silence in the middle of nowhere!) we have successfully cut silence out of our lives and replaced it with a connection to the world around us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   The problem with this is that we are so connected with this worldly that it can often be difficult for us to disconnect so we can tune in with the heavenly kingdom. In scripture, we read that Jesus often retreated into prayer (Luke 5:16).  He turned the world off, if just for a moment, so that he could connect with God in a deep and focused way.  We cannot have rich and meaningful prayer lives if we never retreat, as Jesus did, and silence the world around us so that we might here God speak.  I invite you to try this – find a time and place in which you can turn it all off (the cell, the radio and all the other noise around you) and retreat into a time of silence, and just listen for God.  Can you hear him?   Don’t even talk… just listen.  It is often in the silence that we can hear God speak and feel God’s presence.  May you find many moments of silence this week as you seek a deeper relationship with God. –Michael Maroon, Pastor of Prayer