Solitude. This is perhaps one of the keywords used in the Bible whenever Jesus withdrew to be on His own and pray. There were several occasions in fact. And we wonder – what does He really do when He is alone and praying?
I thought it would be good to find out the number of times that He was recorded to have withdrawn to be on His own to pray, until my search came to a fruitless end in Luke 5:16 – “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places (the wilderness) and prayed”. This meant that there were countless occasions that He went into the secret place and they were not accounted for in the Gospels.
Lonely places and wildernesses speak of a deliberate removal of oneself from noise, from distractions, from interactions that might otherwise bring about a loss of focus. The Holy Spirit made sure in Luke’s recording that this was clear so that even in modern day vernacular, we understand what it means to take ourselves out of places that distract and put ourselves in places where we can hear, sense and interact better with God.
I have come to notice that when God speaks, He wants full attention. That is why the altar, the moments in worship where there are pauses and junctures where the instruments are playing, or even when we are meditating upon His Word, we receive from Him. Yes, He uses situations and people as learning points, but our posture of tenderness in the secret place is where intimate divine connections begin to really take off.
Where or what is your “lonely place”? Is it in the 15/20/25/30 minutes that you allocated to read His Word and pray? In the shower? The season of fasting? These lonely places are “force multipliers” and can become catalysts to greater things that He will release because these places allow both you and God to connect. Just you and Him.
Return to the secret place and take a posture of tenderness in waiting upon, leaning in, listening.