In a noisy and busy world, God is calling us to pull ourselves away from the busy-ness and draw near to him. Jesus needed these times alone with the Father while he was here on earth. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray” Luke 5:16 This week, plan to make some time to be alone so that you can be with the One who gave you life! Here are a few suggestions for practicing silence and solitude.
Create a “Fortress of Solitude”
Find a place in your home or outdoors somewhere that you can go to be alone. Maybe get together as a family and designate a spot for solitude. That way when anyone is in that place it is known that they want to “be alone”. When you spend time there, remember that you are not really alone, but that God is with you. Spend time being with God. Talk to God and ask God to speak to you.
Finding Solitude in the Rat Race
Solitude is really an attitude of the heart. We can practice solitude in the midst of a very busy workday. Take little mini-retreats while you are at work. Do you have a coffee break? A commute? Transform those places into places of solitude by merely understanding that God is with you. You might even focus on the word Immanuel as a reminder that “God is with us!”
Lear to Listen
Consciously make an attempt to enter into conversations with the intention of listening to what SOMEONE ELSE has to say! Try not to interrupt and interject all your amazing wisdom. (This will be difficult for you extroverts!) Ask God to teach you when to speak. Also, begin to be aware of how often you speak in order to control others or to justify your own actions. You might be amazed at how many words go out of our mouths that just add to the noise!
Try An Extended Period of Silence –
Try to speak as little as possible for a day. If your job involves a lot of interaction with others, you may need to wait until the weekend. Try not to tell others that you are doing this. If you absolutely need to speak, then do. Otherwise, just be quiet. Have a journal handy to write down what that feels like? Is it difficult or freeing?
Take a Retreat
Find a place to retreat with the sole idea of getting away to draw near to God. Just take a journal and a bible. Ask God to speak to you in the silence and solitude. Try to distance yourself from distractions like technology and the like. What does it feel like to be alone but not alone? Make notes in your journal…