Prayer: Stillness

During Advent I followed along with my church’s word-of-the-day photo challenge – sort of. Instead of taking pictures, I wrote a prayer inspired by each word.

This basically meant that I would word vomit whatever came to mind each weekday morning as I contemplated God and life and the world and the word of the day. And then in the afternoons I would edit this lengthy journal-confession-prayer-rage thing into a prayer I was willing to share with my little corner of Instagram.

I’m looking back at these prayers now and feeling like many of them aren’t just for Advent. So I thought I might share some of them here every now and then – for example, the one below. Because (over)work and (lack of) rest is not just an Advent thing.

Let me know if or how you resonate with this prayer, or what you’d add from your own reflection on stillness – I’d love to hear.


Chosen stillness is a sacred thing.
We are hard-pressed to choose it; some more so than others.
Demands rush upon us constantly from every side.
I have access to stillness but do not always choose it.
Something within me says go and go and do and do.
God, help me separate that something from you.
The one who drives me to strive and strive until I break inside—
that one is not you.
The one who sets impossible benchmarks and then beats me up if I don’t reach them—
that one is not you.
The one who only sees my failures, my limitations—
that one is not you.
The one who always wants things done faster, and more things done—
that one is not you.
The one who shames me if I need others’ help, who expects independence and rewards it with pride—
that one is not you.
You are in the stillness.
You are the space-maker of every location where we can drop our guards and come alive.
In the stillness we are not alone.

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