Friday, July 13, 2012

Solitude Is a Place of Conversion

Solitary chickadee on my back deck.

There are 130 people taking my 2-month Prayer & Fasting class; 60 at Redeemer and 70 online. My basic assignment is:

1. Find a place to get alone with God (solitude).
2. Do this 1 hour/day, 5 days/week.
3. Pray (talk with God about what you and He are doing together).
4. Use Matthew chapters 5-7 as your meditative Scripture focus.
5. When God speaks to you write it down.
6. If God calls you to fast with a focus on a burden for someone or something that God has given you, then do so.

Part of this class is an exercise in solitude. Solitude, says Henri Nouwen, is not a private therapeutic place, but a place of conversion. (The Only Necessary Thing, 47)

Consistently spend much time in the presence of God and you cannot remain unchanged.

In times of meaningful solitude with God our hearts are transformed from subhumanity to Christlikeness. Solitude is "the place where the old self dies and the new self is born, the place where the emergence of the new man and the new woman occurs." (Ib., 47-48)