"The discipline of solitude, as I have described it here, is one of the most powerful disciplines in developing a prayerful life." - Henri J. M. Nouwen
I'll be honest, prayer has not always been the easiest and strongest part of my walk as a Christian. There are times I don't go to God with my prayers because I don't think he will speak to me. Many times there are days I would rather vent to others about life because I know they will respond instantly. But it's funny, because the times I lay my heart out before God - I sense him so close and I know he's there and loving me through it all. The quote above is from Devotional Classics by Richard Foster and goes hand in hand with my spiritual discipline for the week of silence. I have already seen great things happening in my heart since making time to get away from all the noise and busy things in life. You'll just have to wait to hear how the Lord has been working through my discipline of silence later =)
People are so busy these days with the events of life that we don't make time for solitude with God. It is so important to have that time and place to be alone with God. That means no other people around, no phones, no computer, no ipods.... just you and the Lord. Many times when I enter into a silent time with the Lord my mind becomes overwhelmed with what is really going on in my heart. This is a great opportunity to present it all to God and allow him to teach, heal, and direct me. I need more of this in my everyday life! I loved reading this excerpt of Nouwen's 'Making All Things New'. He really puts the importance of solitude into perspective and expresses that our spiritual life is impossible without disciplines.
"Everyone - including ourselves at first - will see our solitude as a waste of good time" Richard J. Foster.
I know there are times that I definitely believe this. The truth is, it's the thing I need the most! It's not a waste of time but a great use experience growth. There is something so amazing about connecting with God on a deep intimate level - he meets me there.
I want to continue penciling solitude into my days. Setting aside however much time I can each day to be silent before God and not letting anyone or anything take that time away from me. I am ready to tackle this prayerful life of mine and make it more of an importance through my times of solitude.
I leave you with this to ponder..
"A spiritual life requires discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear." Nouwen