Silence and Solitude

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.

silence and solitude

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.

one in spirit banner

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Anderson is an international field visits specialist in our Australian office.

Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.

2 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Warren Friesen March 13, 2012

    Erin writes a powerful devotional… thank you! A book that has helped me on this topic is “Invitation to Silence & Solitude” by Ruth Haley-Barton. This is an old spiritual discipline that is “new” again because it is so foreign to our culture. Yet the way of living that Jesus demonstrated allowed for sustainable ministry results. Isaiah 30:15b says, “in quietness and trust is your strength.”

  2. Lizzie March 12, 2012

    What an inspiring post! Last Thursday night at my youth group, we talked about this. It is soo hard to do, especially if you have to get up early. But, I know it is worth it. Because of this post, I took time today to pray and listen. Thank you.

Add a Comment

Read the ground rules for comments.