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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