If someone told you that you had to sit in silence by yourself for three minutes, do you think you could do it? Would you feel restless, awkward, or like you were wasting time?
Why is it so hard for us to just be quiet? Why is it so hard for us to be alone with God?
In our current age of constant motion and activity, never-ending schedules and commitments, and more Facebook friends than we can ever hope to keep up with, taking the time to really care for our souls by being alone and quiet with our Maker is a rare practice.
Silence and solitude are two often-forgotten spiritual disciplines, yet they are so important.
Jesus practiced them throughout the gospels. In Mark 1:35 (NIV) we read, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Similarly, Luke writes, “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them” (Luke 4:42, NIV).
Jesus disciplined Himself to take time out to commune with the Father, even arising before everyone else and even when it meant not being present with people who needed His ministry. He took it seriously.
These disciplines will not come to us naturally, as we are the most noise-polluted generation in history and thus, quite literally, addicted to sound. Even if we are able to eliminate the external noises, there is still noise going on in our minds.
Practicing silence and solitude is a personal struggle for me, but it can greatly enrich my relationship with God when I observe these disciplines. I encourage you to think about practicing some silence and solitude in your own spiritual life.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. — Mark 1:35, NIV
Prayer: Lord, help us to seek You in the stillness and quietness. Keep our minds free from the clutter of noise so we can hear Your voice clearly. Let our focus be entirely on You. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Anderson is an international field visits specialist in our Australian office.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.