The Sinner's Guide has a very good post on silent prayer Calming the Storm: Working Toward the Silence a Prophet Needs
The following are tips in achieving this much sought for silence:
- Make your time for silence the same time every day: This makes it a priority and a set part of your schedule. Make it a time when you don’t have to worry about the phone ringing or distractions. It also creates a rhythm in your life which can be important in your prayer life.
- Sit comfortably unless you are used to kneeling: Quieting our minds is one of the hardest parts and being uncomfortable will only fill your mind with complaints. Work to remove the selfishness that causes these complaints but don’t let them ruin your silence.
- Plan 10 minutes before to write down thoughts: Thoughts about things you need to do will rob your silence. Grab a notebook and write them all down before hand so you don’t have to worry. Each time you write it down think to yourself, “ Now I don’t have to worry about this.”
- Give it time: If you are striving for silent prayer you can’t expect it to happen in 10 minutes everyday. The silence needs time to develop.
- Go to confession often: Sin robs our heart of silence. Many of the thoughts we can’t get rid of are because of sin in our life. After prayer time write down those thoughts that were interrupting your silence so that you can find out where they come from and take them captive.
- Cultivate a spirit of poverty and humility: The humble soul has nothing to say but comes to the Lord of heaven and earth poor and needy of His love. Pray for humility. Think of talking to an expert in your field. The expert will know what to say to you. He doesn’t need you to speak, you need to listen.
- Don’t stop knocking: This is not easy. Try again each and everyday. Struggle for silence. Battle for silence. Remember this Silence is love. Keep knocking on the door of the heart of Jesus.
- Don’t lead: So much of our spiritual life comes from our plans, words and deeds. Tell God that you surrender the time to Him and approach Him like the disciples saying, “Lord, teach me to pray.”
- Fall in love with Jesus: When you are in love you want to be in constant communication with your beloved. Fall head over heels in love with Jesus. He will take you to the prayer he desires you to have.