Solitude

Lately I've been spending some time alone where I purposely shut out everything—turn off my phone, don't look at email, no social media—just me and God, nobody else. It's a quiet place where God speaks to me. In some ways it’s a re-centering place where I'm able to process where I'm at and what I'm doing in deeper, longer ways. Henri Nouwen put it this way, “A spiritual discipline, therefore, is a concentrated effort to create some inner and outer space in our lives where obedience can be practiced. Through a spiritual discipline we prevent the world from filling our lives to such an extent that there's no place left to listen. A spiritual discipline sets us free to pray, or to say it better, it allows the Spirit of God to pray in us.” It's amazing that the Spirit of God is freed up to pray in us.

 

We discipline ourselves to block out everything else so that the Spirit of God who lives inside us and grows us spiritually is now able to take the hardest part of our hearts—our pain, sorrow, grief, and despair—and pray within us to the Father and to the Son. So that as we get quiet, we are communicating with the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. As we are able to really center in, the Spirit becomes the agenda of our prayers—no prayer lists, no going around sharing prayer requests—the Spirit of God Himself prays within us. I want to be there. That's what I want to learn to do. It's hard. It's difficult. It's hard work to shut the world off to that level, but we must get there if we’re going to grow.