“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone… that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-3, NIV).
It sounds like Paul is mobilizing a major prayer surge here with this introductory phrase. He prevails on us to fervently engage with requests, prayers, and intercession. He emphasizes the urgency even more by prioritizing this matter as “first of all.” This must be a serious concern indeed! What is it we are all to join in on, petitioning Heaven’s throne? A coast-to-coast crisis? An international calamity? Nations a’broil?
Nope. He urgently presses us to pray for everyone… that we might live peaceful, quiet lives. That is the urgency. That is the singular reason for marshaling a prayer army. Do you get a sense that this might be super important to God? Indeed, he continues by saying, “This is good, and pleases God…”
Yes. A quiet life is a treasure to God. It’s what He longs for us to have. He does not ask us to pray that we might have exciting, enthralling, soaring lives. Nor are we to aspire to exotic or illustrious lives full of grandiosity. No. Simple. Quiet. Peaceful. Deeply trusting. This is His ideal.
Similarly, in 1 Peter 3:4, Holy Spirit lets us know that a quiet spirit is exceedingly precious to God. Cultivating a quiet, serene heart, then, is something that we should put in our sites as a central, fundamental goal.
This does not mean that our lives won’t have exciting moments. Of course they will! However, we don’t want to make excitement for the sake of excitement our predominant aim. Rather, enjoying Jesus’ presence and spreading His love is to be the primary pursuit of our hearts.
Cultivating a quiet life also doesn’t mean that our days won’t be profoundly fulfilling. On the contrary, when one leads a calm, peaceful life, this enhances and deepens all the different kinds of seasons we traverse. A consistent, quiet, peaceful backdrop causes the momentous occasions woven into life’s fabric to become all the more meaningful.
A quiet life strengthens us. As Isaiah beautifully expressed: For the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, said, In quiet and rest is your salvation: peace and hope are your strength” (Isa. 30:15, BBE).
I will add, “quiet” does not necessarily mean noise-free. If you have young children in your family, silence probably only happens when they are sleeping. Instead, Holy Spirit is talking to us about the quality of our inner lives. Do we know how to be still in His presence? Have we learned to quiet our souls and trust deeply in His goodness? Are we resting in His immaculate care of every detail of our existence?
“Be still, and know that I am God…” (Ps. 46:10, NKJV).
What are some practical ways that we can intentionally build more quiet into our lives?