On Knowing When to Speak and When to Be Silent

I have a voice.

Sometimes it can be loud, and I hate being shushed. My voice is one of the things that makes me feel like I am too much for people. Being loud makes me feel like I’m not feminine or soft or “Christian womanly” enough.

I have a voice.

Because of my life, job, different opportunities and even my (sometimes too loud for people) personality, people listen to me.

I have a voice, and I am not afraid to use it.

I want to speak up for the oppressed. I want to draw out the silenced. I want to encourage the discouraged, speak truth into lies, speak life and value over myself, my family, those close to me, and anyone who crosses my path.

I have a voice.

But sometimes I feel silenced. It can feel like a woman has to speak louder than is socially acceptable in order to be heard, and I don’t want to be “that woman.” It feels like my little words have no impact on the lies and fighting and noise in the world. Even in prayer, it can feel like what I want, what I’m asking God to do in my life and in this hurting and broken world, are just words thrown to the wind.

Faith is a necessary element to Christianity. But faith in what? I want to grow in faith that God hears me.

And as I grow in certainty that He hears me, I want to grow in claiming Him as my first audience. I want to go first  to Him with my fears, concerns, joys, and worries. Before I let something rattle around in my head for days and weeks, before I pour out complaints and fears to a friend, before I share a praise or celebration online, I want God to hear my voice.

Give ear to my words, O LordConsider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

Psalm 5: 1-3 (NASB)

In a world that is loud, how do we practice silence? How do we avoid contributing to the noise and strife and outrage-fueled peaceless-ness?

In a world that silences us, how do we learn to speak up? To claim our right to consent, own our own preferences, opinions, feelings? How do we claim our right to speak in a world that doesn’t want to hear our voice?

Perhaps this is a purpose for prayer, a reason why we pray.

Not to get what we want, not for answers, but to teach us.

Perhaps prayer is a place where we can practice believing we are heard.

Perhaps if I submit my voice to God first, I will gain confidence in being heard, valued, loved by my heavenly Father.

And perhaps then I will learn when to speak, and when to be silent.

I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:1-2 (NASB)

When to Speak, When to be Silent quote (1)

Photo in my images is by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash


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  1. Chelsea Watkinson

    “Perhaps prayer is a place where we can practice believing we are heard.” — thought-provoking concept … thanks for this verbiage, girl!

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