Be still and know that I Am God. Psalm 46:10

“The nations rage, the kingdoms totter.” (Psalm 46:6) One could read this verse and think of the current situations in this country of pandemic and civil unrest. One could also read this verse and think of the state of our private kingdoms, our homes, our jobs, the frenetic pace of life. How many of us rage at our kids because they are too slow getting up, getting dressed and getting out of the house each day? How many of us rage against our spouses because they disappoint us? How many of us rage against our co-workers because we don’t like their work ethic? Rage has been the primary emotion in our country for years, which is why it is not surprising that after years of building stress to a boiling point, an act of racism in a cauldron of anxiety has put our country over the edge.

Psalm 46 encourages calm in the midst of the storm. “Be still and know that I am God,” we read in Psalm 46:10. Indeed 46:10 is the antidote to 46:6. Rage is contained with the spread of peace. And peace is attained in large part through stillness. There is a difference between being still and being passive. Passive is to be inactive, aloof, indifferent. “Being still” can actually be active, because being still with God allows our hearts and our minds to become active. Our actions are affected by our thoughts. And our thoughts are affected by our hearts, and the things that our hearts meditate on. There is no room to think of God when our hearts are enraged. God is everywhere but He is discovered mostly in silence and stillness.

Many of us begin our days as if we are a hurricane. We fly out of bed, run to the coffee maker, hurriedly brush our teeth and our hair, throw down a quick breakfast, cajole the kids to get ready for school, and then fight traffic to get to work. Most of us are already in a frenzy by 9:00 a.m. and the day has hardly started.

What would happen if we each built some time for stillness into each day? If we took a few moments to be still and just breathe? If we took a few minutes just to listen to the sound of our own hearts beating? What if, in listening to our heart beating, we began a short dialogue with God? Take five minutes, and for the first minute, just sit, and listen to your heart beat. Close off distraction. Then, in time with your heart beating begin to pray “Lord, have mercy” repeatedly. Do this for a minute. Then take another short phrase like “I love You Lord,” and say that for a minute in time to your heart beating. This stillness will bring about a calmness in us, which will result in calm thoughts and calm actions. It will place God at the center of what we are doing at a given moment.

The idea of silence and stillness doesn’t require a lengthy period of time each day. One can learn to become still and silent in only a few moments and to enjoy the silence of a few moments, allowing it to help us re-center and refocus ourselves.

Imagine stopping in the middle of the workday at certain points for one minute, listening to your heart beating, praying “Lord have mercy” (or the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner,” which can be offered in time with our breathing, but is probably too long to match with our hearts beating). Learning this exercise can help keep us centered or can help us recover our center when we’ve become stressed out, and let’s be honest, enraged by the events of the day.

Isaiah 30:15 reminds us that “in quietness and trust shall be your strength.” It is not being frenzied and frenetic that gives us strength. Rather, it is just the opposite. The strongest people are those who know how to be quiet and still. Because the real strength comes from God and God is more easily felt in stillness. This is why it is important to take time each day to be still and know God.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, through the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He shutters His voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord, how He has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, He burns the chariots with fire! “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46

Take some time to be still with God today!

The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! There you may find a database for past prayer team messages as well as books by Fr. Stavros and other information about his work and St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL.

These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.


Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced multiple books, you can view here:


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