And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
A ladies guide to being intentional about meeting with God daily
We should prepare for a solitary place of prayer because it is essential to spend time alone with our Father.
I had a quiet moment the other morning. My husband took my son to get water and my eldest son awoke afterward, read his Bible, and then began his classwork. My toddler daughter remained asleep. I had an empty stomach and thus, it was the perfect time to feed my soul with God’s word. I read Luke 5: 12-16.
I read this as the fresh air entered through my patio. It was so wonderful, to have my picture of serenity come to life. I, sitting there with God’s word on my lap, the sunlight illuminating the pages of my Bible.
And then suddenly, I hear the gardener approaching the outside corridor of my fence with his leaf blower and the stench of the gasoline fills my lungs. My picture is shattered.
This is why Jesus had to withdraw himself after meeting among the multitudes. Even the Saviour needed quietude. Our Saviour, strong and wise, filled with love and compassion for the lost, needed to withdraw to the wilderness to pray. Jesus sought solitary places where He can pray. His retreat for prayer expressed his deep reliance on our Father in Heaven.
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Morning or night, he retreated to pray.
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)
We need this time too.
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. (Matthew 14:22)
All my kids are young and right now, I’m focused on surviving, especially in this season after my husband’s lay-off. It seems like there is just a sliver of time to be with the Lord, quietly and alone. I can’t claim to have all the strength to conquer everything I set my heart to do. It honestly is impossible to do it all.
We go to church, attend church activities, drive our children to co-op and back, take them to the ball game, and cook, clean, teach, disciple, rinse and repeat. Remember the woman described in Proverbs 31? What are some of the things she did?
But when we retreat to be alone, we can enter a special time with the Lord. We need to slip away from the noise, the crowds, and the activities to spend time alone with our Father.
The time of day for quiet time doesn’t matter as much as being intentional to devote time to God is. (Deut. 6:6-8, 1 Thess. 5:16-18).
How do we do this?
Ask your husband to support you with this. Ask him to make provision for you to get some time alone and away from the noise, the interruptions of telephone messages, and duties.
As an aside, we need to remind our children to do this too. When they see us practice this, they will understand the importance of God in our day. Jesus withdrew to pray and His example is not for men only. It is for us too.
As we get ready to retreat, we will be able to focus on Him. Let’s find a place to go, like a park bench, a pond away from the crowd, a hill or a quiet escape. Find a place that gives God your full attention. Train your mind to focus on your Bible. One recommendation is to get a physical Bible, not a digital one. The mobile phone is a pervasive time-suck and a favorite means of workday procrastination. A physical Bible, on the other hand, will discourage us from goofing off into rabbit trails and checking push notifications. Let’s examine our temptations, for the phone has been a necessary evil.
Jesus said to enter your closet and pray.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:6)
Open the windows of heaven, seek His face, and shut everyone else out so we can be prepared to meet with Him.
We make time with God a habit
We will see our lives transformed by the renewing of our mind when we devote time to God in solitude.
Currently as digital devices reign over our lives, as our fingers are impulsive to swipe, check and scroll, the information age only walks us through one layer of information. Our faith is more than information. It ought to take us beyond the superficial habits in our lives. We need to tune out the trivial!
Getting to know God is a mystery, but it’s as real as your neighbor here beside you (Psalm 25:4). Just as we schedule a time to meet with a friend, we should look at Jesus as a friend who we love enough to spend time with. Self-examine if what we are doing is drawing us closer to God. Find a passage that will challenge you in the season you are in and remember to set your affections on eternal things (Colossians 3:1-2).
We learn and share
In the quiet stillness, focus on what God says to you. The Bible says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We will know God more deeply when we read His word.
Once you’ve read a passage, ask yourself some questions like: Is there a command to obey? Is there a promise to claim? Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a lesson to learn? Is there a new truth to carry with me?
Give God your best (Psalm 5:3). Read His word to be the light unto your path for the rest of the day. And don’t forget to share what God has done for you. We ought to brag on Him, not about ourselves. In the Christian walk, we are called to magnify Him and not ourselves and in this culture of oversharing and boastfulness, rest assured that when we brag about God, we are doing fine. Psalm 34:2-9 says, “My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
What do we expect to get out of meditating and praying during quiet time? I’d say a desire to obey Him more and more.
We remove the excuses
Let’s ask God to teach us not to fit Him into our lives, but rather build our lives around Him. Whatever we are called to do in this life, we need His strength to do it and
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)
You will see how fruitful your life will be and that of your children and husband once we get a hold of prayer and quiet time with God. Out responsibilities will not change, our situation and circumstances won’t either, perhaps, but the power of God in our lives will bear fruit that will help us respond in a godly way to those areas in our life that are busy, messy, loud, and frustrating. We will find joy even in those things and that is what is so amazing about God. He is ever present in our time of need.
Our challenge is to get away from excuses. Tune out the trivial. Get quiet time with God.