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?