Ok, as promised, I'm going to continue working off of a presentation from Ravi Zacharias (specifically this one part 1 part 2). In the talk, he gives four 'tudes to carry into our prayer life. Last week was certitude, this week it's solitude. Solitude is not very popular in this day and age. It's almost become a dirty word. We have the idea that wanting to be alone and away from everything is unhealthy. Too much of it certainly is, but regularly shutting out the world, especially to commune with God, is not just healthy, it's a necessity of prayer life. There are numerous times throughout the Old and New Testament of God's people stepping away from everything so they can focus entirely on listening the what God has to say to them. One of the best known examples is from Jesus Himself, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Hours away from the culmination of His earthly mission, He went away from everything, even His closest disciples, to pray to God, to confirm His instructions. Numerous other times throughout the Gospels Jesus withdraws, departs, and sends everyone away for His prayer time. If that's not sufficient evidence to show it's an important idea, I don't know what is.
Solitude is very difficult in our modern times. We have created such a connected world, such a 24/7 world, that getting off the grid, even for an hour a day often seems impossible. But remember the words of Jesus when His disciples were falling asleep as He took His solitude, "Could you not tarry one hour?" Trust me, I know it's hard to shut off the cell phone, step away from the keyboard, kick the thoughts of all that stuff that needs done and what we want to be doing out of our heads and just be open to what God is giving us. But it is possible. And I'm sure, based on the testimony of many others, that the more one does it, the easier it gets.
When we do manage to shut the world out, just for a little while, we put our focus where it's supposed to be, on God and His directions for us. As that focus becomes more of a regular part of our prayer life, it starts seeping into the rest of our lives too. The more of that focus that our hour by hour life soaks up, the more we are able to see each step of the path we are supposed to be walking, what the actions are that God wants from us in that everyday life. Isn't that worth waiting an hour to see the latest Lolcat or learning that your Facebook buddy is having a steak dinner tonight?