The Prayer of Quiet
by William Shannon
PRAYER WITHOUT WORDS is silence; not the silence that is simply a pause between moments of noise, but a silence that is rich: filled with God, on fire with God's Presence.
It is the prayer of quiet rising out of solitude in which we seek to deepen our awareness of God's Presence in our lives. It is humble, simple, lowly prayer in which we experience our total dependence on God and our awareness that we are in God.
Wordless prayer is not an effort to "get anywhere," for we are already there (in God's presence). It is just that we are not sufficiently conscious of our being there. We need wordless prayer to ensure that there is depth to our prayer life.
Wordless prayer is a kind of firm foundation for prayer with words. With wordless prayer as the secure root of our spirituality, we shall never become overanxious (at least not for long), because we shall know that we are in God and so is all else that is. This is what really matters: all reality charged with the glory of God's presence.
From Silence on Fire by William Shannon (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1991).