Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prayer, Solitude, and Silence (PrayerLife)

Munson Park, Monroe

Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
- Luke 5:16

Jesus did this "often." A lot. Jesus wanted to do this. Jesus needed to do this. 

As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.
- Luke 5:16, The Message

One reason Jesus checked out of hectic, crowded places and check in to the Lonely Place Motel is that, in a "lonely place," a person can hear better. In solitary silence it's easier to hear The Voice. Solitary silence is the out-of-the-way environment where voice competition shrinks to zero. 

Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
- Luke 5:16, New Living Translation

Follow Jesus into the wilderness and pray. Talk with God. Listen. It's easier to hear in the wilderness.

Henri Nouwen writes:

"What do we do in our solitude? The first answer is nothing. Just be present to the One who wants your attention and listen! It is precisely in this "useless" presence to God that we can gradually die to our illusions of power and control and give ear to the voice of love hidden in the center of our being. But "doing nothing, being useless" is not as passive as it sounds. In fact it requires effort and great attentiveness. It calls us to an active listening in which we make ourselves available to God's healing presence and can be made new." (The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, 83)

In solitude and silence before God the atmosphere is electric. Thick. Weighty. Get ready to listen.