We were created with the need for relationship. God does not want us to be without people. In Genesis 2:18 He said it was not good for man to be alone, so He created Eve for Adam. There are some individuals who have the gift of singleness and remain unmarried, but they too have a need to connect with others. Friends, family, the Body of Christ/church, and pets all offer opportunities to fill their need for relationship.
However, God longs for our fellowship as well. There are times when we should seek out moments to be alone with God, in order to give Him our undivided attention. During prayer, our focus should be free from distractions. We need to listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, and this requires times of quiet……. And solitude.
Solitude is one of the most important disciplines to master in your spiritual life. It means to be still and know that He is God (Ps 46:10). Wait on the Lord and still your emotions, calm your heart and listen with your spirit. When you are in solitude, don’t try to make anything happen. Just bring your transparent self to the Lord and be with Him.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV)
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 (NIV)
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Luke 6:12 (NIV)
There are many examples of Jesus going off to solitary places to pray. One of the most important and well-known examples is when He took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked them to pray for Him and then, He went off by Himself to a solitary place to seek His Father in prayer.
Jesus also went alone into the desert to fast and pray for forty days. He went to a solitary place and was tempted by the enemy, but never lost His self-control or purpose/vision. His trial prepared him for the next step in His journey.
Sometimes, you may need to be alone with God for more than an hour. Consider going on a “date” with Jesus. No double dates, just you and your Savior!! If you feel led, consider fasting too. The hunger you experience will remind you of the reason you are on a “date” with Christ. It will help keep your attention focused heavenwards.
The importance and benefits of group prayer are undeniable. Matthew 18:20 says, “ For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” However, there is also a place for the prayer closet. Intercessory prayer, in only the sight of God is powerful, effective, and a might tool against the schemes of the enemy. Finally, SOLITARY PRAYER, where the sole purpose is fellowship with God can be greatly advantageous. A believer will profit by an increased intimacy with Christ. If you listen with no agenda, you may even get instruction from God, or a vision (Acts 10:3-6)
Solitude is not a bad thing. At no time are you ever completely alone, for you are never out of God’s sight or reach. God built you for relationship, and that includes a PERSONAL relationship with Him. Seek and He will be found for he is always available and waiting to dine with you.
“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)
When Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”
Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”
When He came back, He again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes My betrayer!” Matthew 26:36-46 (NIV)