A lot of time. Not just 20 minutes. Hours.
We used to have “Time Alone with God” each month at our church. A day (generally a Sunday) where the church would be open and everyone was invited to come in for the day. We would spend hours alone with God. Each of us in our own room of the church. We would read, pray, sing, talk, cry, whatever we needed to do. These hours were difficult to set aside, difficult to learn how to be in them – what to do with them, difficult to describe. Generally, at the end of our day we felt filled; satisfied. We had met with God, and He with us. Sometimes He would show us something new. Sometimes He would guide us to a new level of healing. Sometimes He would pour out His Holy Spirit on us. All the time, we were blessed by our commitment to slow down enough to experience God on a deeper level.
Most of us lead such full, busy lives that setting aside four hours of a day to be alone with God seems impossible. But I’d encourage you to try it – even make it a regular practice once a month. God needs us to be still and quiet before Him. He wants our complete attention for more than just 10 minutes.
When was the last time you were alone and quiet (no distractions) for more than 30 minutes (and you don’t get to count sleep)? Jesus would go by himself into the wilderness to be alone with God for hours.
Give God the opportunity to touch those deep places of your heart. Let Him fill you with His purposes, His peace and His love. Give Him all the burdens you’ve been carrying. Praise Him and worship Him, He is worthy of our praise.
Learning to incorporate some protected time, some margin, in our lives allows room for God and His purposes. My pilgrimage journey has taught me that, every day, life passes us by way too fast. There is no need for this hurried pace. Trying to squeeze so many things into a day, just squeezes the life out of life. That old saying, “stop and smell the roses” is good advice. Living a simple life that brings glory to God is what I desire. Room for friends. Room for visiting and building relationships. Room to hear other peoples’ hearts. Room for God to change my heart.
Learn to eliminate the hurry in your life. Say no to those things to which God has not called you. Free up some time to just be. Give yourself permission (and your family) to have nothing to do – a day with nothing on the calendar for any of you. Choose a simpler lifestyle that puts God at the center. God – Family – Others – Self
Father God, help us to be good stewards of even our time. Help us not to fill our schedules so full that there is precious little time for You and for those we love. Show us how to simplify life and to focus our time and energy on those things that bring glory to Your name and build Your kingdom. Let us rest in our alone time with You so that You may speak life into our hearts. Change me Lord to be a reflection of Your light for others. Thank You Jesus for the example You gave us of spending solitary time with God the Father. Amen.
Come and sit a while. God will meet you.
Be encouraged. Press on!