The Discipline of Solitude


 Mark 1:35

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

I’ve come to depend on my quiet time. I need it. Just a few minutes alone with my Heavenly Father is how I choose to start my day. This practice is not my idea. I borrowed it from Jesus. If our Lord felt the need to be alone with the Father, then I know I need it too.

The question then becomes the quality of our quiet time. It’s not time to give God a list of our prayer requests. It’s a time to get closer to God. That means it is a time when we let God examine our hearts, and let God point out things that need to change or be removed. The process is necessary for Christian growth. Solitude is a time when God can do His transforming work in us, if we allow it. Solitude is surrendering ourselves to the transforming work of God.

Before Paul started his ministry he spent time alone in Arabia.

Galatians 1:15-17

“But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.”

When I think about how Paul prepared for his ministry, it occurs to me a few minutes each day is not enough time to give to God. It’s up to me then, to find more time to give God each day. That means turning off the TV and using that time for more productive uses. It means using my driving time as time to talk to Him. It means using the time I am waiting in line to speak with Him. I need every available minute with my Lord.

The more time I have with God, the more I want, and the more I need.

Blessings on your day.

Here is a great article about the discipline of solitude:

There is also a chapter on Solitude in Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, Harper Collins Publishers, 1988.


Image: google images

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