Please Stop Asking This Question
“Allen, believe it or not, people have emergency situations where they don’t have time to go into long periods of silence waiting for a revelation. What do you do, in the moment, when you’re facing danger?” That’s the question a member of my congregation once asked.
I plead guilty to writing an awful lot about silent prayer. In my estimation, it is the golden key that opens the door of revelation. Is it the only key? I don’t know. What I do know, for sure, is that silent prayer gets the job done. But, silent prayer is not a god. It is a tool for the realization of God.
You’re Right, This Is No Time For Silent Prayer
When life-threatening trouble seems to spring out of nowhere, you don’t turn to silent prayer for deliverance. You turn to the Truth that’s been revealed in silent prayer. Often that revelation is the inner conviction that God is really all. That, reader, is enough.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I am a proponent of Truth’s practicality. Truth revealed is practical – even in the merciless clutches of life-threatening situations. I’ll share this story with you that happened many years ago.
Here’s What Happened One Spring Night
One cool spring night, I was walking home from a church near downtown Baltimore. While walking, I thought about all the ways I could improve the class I was teaching at the church. One idea after another popped into my head as I strolled along. I was in my own little world of ideas.
Suddenly, everything sped up like a movie on fast forward. First, I felt something pressing against the small of my back. Then, an arm wrapped around my chest, and two voices said, “Don’t turn around.” At that point I knew there was a gun in my back. One of the muggers threw me to the ground and rifled through all my pockets.
As I was falling, my first thought was “God is All.” At that point things seemed to slow down to a slug’s pace. As soon as I said God is All, I felt like I was wrapped in a cushiony cloud of protection. Then, I knew all was well.
The muggers ordered me to get up. Again, I was commanded, “Don’t turn around.” The next command was to run into the alley. I ran. Shots were fired. I kept running. Finally, I said to myself, “Allen, enough running.” I slowed down and continued my walk home – more deliberately. Throughout it all, I was not injured.
The Beauty of Silent Prayer
You do agree that this qualifies as an emergency situation, don’t you? Then consider these facts. There was no time to “go into the silence.” There was no time to seek Revelation. Truth-be-told, I didn’t try to think a spiritual thought. The words “God is All” flashed in my awareness without effort.
This is the joy and beauty of silent prayer. Once a Truth is revealed, that Truth will always surface at the appropriate time as a reminder that only God is present. You can never be thrust into any situation where Truth revealed doesn’t immediately deliver you from the illusion that something other than God’s Infinite goodness is going on.