We can struggle to find time to pray when our days are full. Life can be busy 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. Most of the time we crave community and don’t like to be lonely.

We don’t consider being alone, for too long, to be a good thing. And God feels the same way, too. After all, he created woman to be a mate for man, because he said: It is not good for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).

It takes effort to pray on our own.

And if we’re honest, it’s easier to reach out to our community than to God. 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 like the instant likes, rather than sharing our excitement with God.

Yet, God craves our companionship. He wants us to escape it all and be alone with him. Scripture even gives us an instruction on how: When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private.

And Jesus set an example for us to follow. He often withdrew to lonely places to pray alone.

When we pray like this, God meets us in the lonely place, so it is never a lonesome place.

God wants you to pull back from your day and be with him to

  • draw comfort from his presence
  • share your deepest concerns and desires
  • seek his perfect wisdom
  • rest in his complete and full understanding, and
  • 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?


  • 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.

  • 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.

      • Thank you Rachel for your messages always encouraging and challenging us into closer community with our God. His Spirit seems to direct you to teach us of the hidden ways of our souls, not always easy to recognize, that interrupt the amazing connection we can have daily. Balancing aloneness to allow precious time with my Abba, with serving others who are needy in my life is a challenge. I have time as I live alone post divorce and since my daughter relocated to Denver. Do learning daily to put communion with Him first so I am better prepared for His use in serving my community.
        Thanks for your help in equipping me for this.
        Donna Eve Gould

        • Donna, so lovely to hear from you. I’ve just read your comment. You and your faith are such an encouragement to me today. Thank you. Hugs.

  • 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!

  • 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, 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.

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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.

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