Silence and Solitude For Beginners
Solitude is being alone with God. It is creating space in your life whereby you are able to hear Him speak to you; to call you His beloved child!
In earlier periods of history prayer was defined and shaped by significant moments of silence and listening. I our era, prayer is dominated by talking. Prayer – for many – functionally means spending a few minutes telling God things He already knows and then helping Him understand how to fix them.
In silence and solitude we learn how to listen to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and hear/discern His voice in the midst of many others. Simply put, we learn to surrender!
- Find a Space that is free from distractions. It could be a room in your home, a patio, a favorite chair, etc. It could also be a spot by the river or a favorite space on the beach (turn off all ‘outside’ interference, i.e. your smart phone, computer, laptops, etc.).
- Relax! Most of us are new to solitude and silence, so the practice may be somewhat daunting. Enjoy the time and receive the moments Christ grants. If you can only practice for a few minutes, before being filled with distractions – take note of that and enjoy God’s revelation of how truly full your life has become. Some of those ‘things’ that will pop up are ‘clutter’ that He will help you see clearly through this practice over time!
- Consider writing down a favorite Bible passage, quote or prayer to reflect on during your time of solitude (this is not necessary, but it may be helpful for those who are not accustomed to silence and solitude). A favorite passage may help you maintain focus and a listening posture before the Lord. When you do become distracted by a thought related to a ‘to do’ list or agenda item for the day, just let that thought pass through your mind and focus on the Scripture you are carrying with you.
- When you have completed your time of solitude I invite you to reflect with someone about your experience of this practice. Remember, we are practicing together this week so there are others who would love to hear about your own victories as well as struggles
Solitude in the Life of Christ and Paul
The “desert” or “closet” is the primary place of strength for the beginner, as it was for Christ and for Paul. They show us by their example what we must do. In stark aloneness it is possible to have silence, to be still, and to know that Jehovah indeed is God (Ps. 46: 10), to set the Lord before our minds with sufficient intensity and duration that we stay centered upon him— our hearts fixed, established in trust (Ps. 112: 7– 8)— even when back in the office, shop, or home.