10 Bible Verses Referencing Silence


Prayer Vigil by Jim Baker

By and large I find evangelicals prefer extroverted and action oriented expressions of faith, so silence is not something we have traditionally placed a lot of emphasis on. That is why it is a joy to watch those who come to our Casita in rural Northern New Mexico for a retreat or Sabbatical discover the spiritually nourishing benefits of silence. Most leave with an appreciation and hunger for greater silence.

For many though, I find the best way to introduce and challenge them to experiment with the spirituality of silence is to share Bible verses that affirm the importance of silence, as well as quietness, and solitude.

So, below is a list of verses about silence, mostly from the New Revised Standard Version, though any translation will reveal how important silence is. What strikes me most about these passages is that they look at silence, not in the human terms of keeping silent or not speaking out when relating to others, but rather they point us to the beauty and meaning of silence in how we relate to God. These verses taken together make a powerful witness to how silence is an essential discipline and practice for a vital and growing spiritual life.

“For God alone my soul in silence waits.” Psalm 62:1

“To you, O God, silence is praise.” Psalm 65:1

“But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!” Habakkuk 2:20

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” Revelation 8:1

“Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.” Zephaniah 1:7

“He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.” I Kings 19:11-12 

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10