1. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Physical Calm
    1. Hebrews 4:9-11
      There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.
    2. Hebrews 3:18,19
      And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
  2. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Focused Attention
    1. Hebrews 12:1,2
      Let us… lay aside every encumbrance, and… sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run… fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith.
    2. John 5:19
      Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the So does in like manner.
  3. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Letting Be
    1. Psalm 46:10
      Cease striving (let go, relax) and know that I am God.
    2. Philippians 4:6,7
      Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  4. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Receptivity
    1. John 15:45
      Abide in Me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
    2. I Samuel 3:3-4
      And the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am”.
  5. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Spontaneous Flow
    1. John 7:38, 39
      He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.
    2. Revelation 4:1-2
      After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things”. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven and one sitting on the throne.


  1. Five Stages of Natural Friendship
    1. Stage 1 – Casual
      I speak of the world outside me (sports, weather).
    2. Stage 2 – Beginning Trust
      I speak of what I think and feel.
    3. Stage 3 – Deep Trust
      I share my dreams, mistakes, frustrations.
    4. Stage 4 – Intimacy
      I sit quietly with my Friend, experiencing a Presence beyond words.
    5. Stage 5 – Union
      I become one with that person, speaking, feeling and acting with His reactions.
  2. I Call You Friends
    1. John 15:15
      No longer do I call you servants, I now call you friends.
    2. Prayer is two lovers sharing intimate communion together. It is not as much “doing something” as it is “being with someone.”
    3. If ultimately, prayer is desire expressed, in all our intercessions, petitionings, pleading, and reminding, let’s make sure that we continue to “hold onto His hand upward” as we “reach out in faith outward.” Let’s let our desire be expressed (prayer) for a greater friendship with Him.


There are three well-established practices designed to lead us into the Prayer of Rest.
Let’s look briefly at them:

  1. Solitude – Step One
    1. Mark 1:35 RSV
      In the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place.
    2. Matthew 6:6 NAS
      But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
    3. Dallas Willard – The Spirit of the Disciplines
      “We must re-emphasize, the “desert” or “closet” is the primary place of strength for the beginner, as it was for Christ and for Paul. They show us by their example what we must do. In stark aloneness, it is possible to have silence, to be still, and to know that Jehovah, indeed, is God (Psa. 46:10), to set the Lord before our minds with sufficient intensity and duration that we stay centered upon Him – our hearts fixed, established in trust
      (Psa. 112:7,8) even when back in the office, shop, or home.”
    4. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart
      “If you give up all those things that provoke your curiosity and
      set your mind spinning, you will have more than enough time to spend with God and to attend to your business. Living your life prayerfully will make you clear-headed and calm, no matter what happens. Your self-nature is overactive, impulsive and always striving for something just outside your reach.
      But God, working within your spirit, produces a calm and faithful heart that the world cannot touch. I really want you to take an adequate amount of time to spend with God so that you might refresh your spirit. All your busy-ness surely drains you.
      Jesus took His disciples aside to be alone, and interrupted their most urgent business. Sometimes He would even leave people who had come from afar to see Him in order to come to His Father. I suggest you do the same. It is not enough to give out – you must learn to receive from God, too.”
  2. Silence – Step Two
    A second time-honored practice is silence, or stilling of what others called “creaturely activity.”

    1. Quote from Dallas Willard – Author and Professor
      “Hearing is aid to be the last of our senses to go at death. Sound always strikes deeply and disturbingly into our souls. So, for the sake of our souls, we must seek times to leave our television, radio, tape players, and telephones off. We should close off street noises as much as possible. We should try to find how quiet we can make our world by making whatever arrangements are necessary.”
    2. Quote from Richard Foster – Author and Teacher
      “This agitated creaturely activity hinders the work of God in us.
      In silence, we still every motion that is not rooted in God. We become quiet, hushed, motionless, until we are finally centered. We let go of all distractions until we are driven into the core. We allow God to reshuffle our priorities and eliminate unnecessary froth. This means not so much a silence of words as a silence of our grasping, manipulative control of people and situations. It means standing firm against our codependency, drives to control everyone and fix everything.”
  3. Recollection – Step Three
    1. What Is It?
      This means coming into tranquillity of mind, heart, and spirit. Isaiah 30:15 tells us, In repentance and rest you shall be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength. We have somewhat covered “recollection” in the lesson, Contemplative Prayer – What It Is.
    2. The Parable of the Wounded Bird
      What would happen if I close my hands completely? It would be crushed and die. What would happen if I open my hands completely? It would try to fly away, and it will fall and die. The right place, the right balance, then, is my cupped hands – neither totally open or totally closed. It is the space where growth and healing can take place. So is the prayer of rest.


  1. What is the Goal?
    1. Quote from Juliana of Norwich – 14th Century English Mystic
      The whole reason why we pray is to be united into the vision and contemplation of Him to whom we pray.
    2. Quote from Bonaventure – Follower of Saint Francis
      Our final goal is union with God which is a pure relationship where we see nothing.
    3. Quote from Madame Guyon – Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ
      As you come into the deeper level of knowing the Lord, you will eventually come to discover a principle I will call the law of central tendency.
      What do you mean by the law of central tendency? As you continue holding your soul deep in your inward parts, you will discover that God has a magnetic attracting quality. Your God is like a magnet! The Lord naturally draws you more and more toward Himself.
      We come now to the ultimate stage of Christian experience. Divine Union. This cannot be brought about merely by your own experience. Meditation will not bring Divine Union; neither will love, nor worship, nor your direction, nor your sacrifice… Eventually it will take an Act of God to make Union a reality.
      Then let us agree on this: There is Divine Union, and there is a way. The way has a beginning, a progress, and a point of arrival. Furthermore, the closer you come to the consummation, the more you put aside the things that helped you get started.
      Of course, there is also a middle, for you cannot go from a beginning to an end without there being an intermediate space. But if the end is good and holy and necessary, and if the entrance is also good, you can be sure the journey between those two points is also good!


  1. In the Midst of Every Storm
    In the midst of every storm, there is the center (eye) of quiet. As it is in the natural, so it is in the Spirit. There is a refuge to which we can turn. Just as there is a progression in Moses’ Tabernacle to the Most Holy Place, so there is a progression to the place of quiet communion within the Kingdom of God within each believer. There is a place where God dwells and in Him there is perfect peace.
  2. A Prayer for Quiet
    From Prayers From the Heart by Richard Foster
    “I have, O Lord, a noisy heart. And entering outward silence doesn’t stop the inner clamor. In fact, it seems only to make it worse. When I am full of activity, the internal noise is only a distant rumble; but when I get still, the rumble amplifies itself. And it is not like the majestic sound of a symphony rising to a grand crescendo; rather it is the deafening din of clashing pots and changing pans. What a racket! Worst of all, I feel helpless to hush the interior pandemonium.

Dear Lord Jesus, once You spoke peace to the wind and waves. Speak Your shalom over my heart. I wait silently… patiently. I receive into the very core of my being Your loving command, “Peace, be still.” Amen.”

Blessings as you seek His face and enjoy His communion!
James W. Goll