We struggle to find the time to pray when our days are full from the moment we get up until we go to bed. Or when we do pray, our minds wander and we end up making our to do list instead of talking to God. Prayer is hard to do.
I came across another reason for our difficulty with prayer, one I hadn’t considered before. In the devotional Magnificent Prayer it says prayer is a lonely business.
I sat in Starbucks thinking about this point, surrounded by people and noise—the snorting of the coffee machine and voices competing to be heard. Two students chatted and laughed next to me, three men across the way discussed business of some kind, and a woman behind me talked to her child as she gave him a snack. We enjoy interacting with each other.
We crave community and don’t like to be lonely. I worry my eighteen-year-old son on his own for the first time this weekend in another country and apart from his twin brother, who has been his constant companion since conception, will be lonely. We don’t consider being alone to be a good thing. And God feels the same way, too. After all, he created woman to be a mate for man, because it is not good for the man to be alone.
So, no wonder we find it an effort to pray on our own.
And if we’re honest, it’s easier to reach out to other people than God because we clearly hear their responses.
Often our first reaction to a problem is to pick up the phone and discuss it with a friend or our spouse, rather than turning to prayer. Or we announce good news on Facebook, because we get instant likes.
Yet, God craves our companionship. Every evening he spent time with Adam and Eve in the garden—walking and talking with them. And our heavenly Father wants to do the same with us. He wants us to get away from it all and be alone with him.
Scripture even gives us an instruction on how: go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father.
And Jesus set an example for us to follow. He often withdrew to lonely places to pray.
When we pray like this, God meets us in the lonely place, so it is never a lonesome experience.
God wants you to pull back from your day and be with him to draw comfort from his presence, to share your deepest concerns and desires, to seek his perfect wisdom, to rest in his complete and full understanding, and to experience his love.
Relish your time in His presence, continues the devotion in Magnificent Prayer, it’s the best time you’ll ever have on this earth.
Will you take time to shut out the world and open up your life to God in a solitary place?
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Linking up with Suzie Eller at #LiveFree, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus and Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart
I don’t like being lonely, and I don’t like confusion. God is not the author of that. But when we are alone to pray, we are not really, the Holy Spirit is there to help us pray when we don’t don’t even know how. It’s important to find that prayer closet.
Wise words, Rebecca. God is always with us and in us through his Spirit. What comfort.
This is beautiful- and so well said. I am grateful that Jesus meets us when we are lonely and calls us to prayer only to know the sweetness of His presence- wow! Thanks for this post today! 🙂
Susie, I love your words about the sweetness of Jesus. Thank you.
Rachel, I’ve noticed in my prayer life that the more I pray, the more time I want to spend with God. The more I desire His companionship. Thankful that He is there meeting us in the lonely places of our hearts.
Crystal, that is beautiful and how wonderful you have discovered companionship with God.
I wonder if introverts and extroverts have completely different challenges? One to worship in community and the other to spend alone time with God. I find it VERY easy to spend time with God in lonely places. I love doing things by myself. Church, on the other hand, not so much!
Anita, that’s a very interesting point. I wonder of there are any biblical characters who are introverts or extroverts, who we can learn from about how they spend time with God.
Rachel, what a great post…truly, prayer is our communication with the Sprit of Christ Who dwells in the innermost part of us…so praying without ceasing is simply bringing every thought captive to His awesome, constant presence in our lives…casting our care on Him…whether we are alone or in a crowd…He never leaves us or forsakes us…what a blessing!
Rachel, this message is so good!! It’s so true. We have a hard time disconnecting from the things around us to give God our full attention. When we aren’t busy or preoccupied, we can begin to confuse quiet time with loneliness. When God sets us apart for time with Him, it’s not so we can be lonely, but to find Him freshly. This is such a great reminder! I’m linking up with you at Coffee for your Heart.
Alisa, your comment really spoke to me. Thank you. The next few weeks my husband will be traveling for business and my kids are at college so I believe God has set me some time apart with him to find him freshly.
I tend to gravitate towards being by myself. It helps me focus. And while I have come to love community, when it comes to prayer I need quiet. Even worship music distracts me. I once read that in silence we can heard God’s whisper. It is a very personal moment for me and I cherish that spiritual companionship when I am praying. Thank you for the beautiful post.
Thanks Maria, for sharing your special way of meeting with God. I could sense the peace and beauty of your personal time. So wonderful.