40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 25

Today, we are on Day 25, and day 5 of our time focusing on the practice of Solitude and silence with Jesus.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23 if you missed them)

When we began this challenge, I thought this practice would be my least favorite. I wasn’t sure I could spend five whole posts to basically say, sit alone with Jesus and listen to Him. But it’s actually been my favorite so far. I feel a bit sad that it’s our last day on this practice.

And as I consider this, I think maybe that’s because it’s God’s favorite as well.   Selah

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Psalm 46:10-11

Yesterday we talked about the first part of Psalm 46:10, be still. Today, we’ll dive into the last part, with the word know. There is so much treasure to be found here.

Yada, to know

The Hebrew word for know here is יָדַע yada. Today, we tend to view knowledge the way the ancient Greeks did. To know something is an act of our intellect. We might come to know something by reading or being taught. To us, to know something is an act of our minds. 

To the ancient Hebrews, knowing was not primarily an intellectual concept. For them, to know something was more heart than mind, and their word yada reflects this. For them, to know included a strong experiential component. To know something is to have experienced it.

Before our first amazing trip to India, I knew that weather of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 99% humidity would be hot. Coming from primarily dry climates, I could understand intellectually that this was a lot more than I had experienced in Utah or Mexico. But this head knowledge did nothing to prepare me for being in it. It did nothing to prepare me for the constant awareness of just how much water I was losing each hour by sweating and how much I had to keep drinking to not dehydrate myself. How hard it made simple movements for me. It felt downright oppressive. This was not the climate my body was prepared for, and no head knowledge about temperatures and humidity helped me. Before the trip, I thought I knew what it would be like. But now I know what it feels like. This is yada. Yada is knowing by experiencing.

In relationship, yada is experiencing the other deeply—to know and be known. It’s a deep knowledge of the heart. So much so, that this is even the word in Genesis 4 when we read that Adam knew Eve and she conceived. It’s a term of such intimacy it can be used as a euphemism for sex. 

And so in this Psalm, we aren’t being told to raphah, relax, and learn more about God. We don’t need more information about God. Our role as His people isn’t to be able to write His biography, but to live our lives in intimate relationship with Him. We are to be the ones covered in the dust of our Rabbi because we follow Him so closely. To be the ones sitting at His feet, catching every word He says. I absolutely love information and learning. But I don’t need more facts about Jesus. I need more experience with Him. We all need experiential, intimate knowledge of Him.  

We instinctively know this on a relational level with loved ones. If someone asked you about a loved one, you wouldn’t begin stating facts about them, when they were born, etc. You would talk about things specific to them that you love, the little things they do, the way they laugh, or the idiosyncracies that make them them. The things we discover about others in relationship with them show this yada level of knowing. And this is our invitation with God. 

In Genesis 16:13, Hagar named God, El Roi, the God who sees me, after experiencing His presence and care for her. She experienced being seen by God, and it changed her forever. She realized she was known by Him, and in this experience, she knew Him more. This is our invitation as well.

Reflection for prayer and/or journaling:

What do you think this yada way of knowing God looks like in your life? Think about the times you have experienced God in your life, such as answered prayers, encouragements He sent you, etc. What does this tell you about who He is?

Action steps:

This is our last day focusing on our time with God in solitude and silence, but don’t let it conclude your focus on it! This practice is essential in our days full of hurry and distraction. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, commit to giving time each day to relax, and know God.

Pray together:

Father we are amazed at your love for us and so grateful for our relationship with you. Draw our hearts to yours, and help us know you more and more each day. Bring us new experiences of your love for us. Let us experience you and your heart for us and for those around us. Make us more like you as we spend time at your feet. In the name of Jesus, we pray together. Amen.

♥ Samantha