Monday, April 4, 2011
Solitude in the Garden
Group prayer meetings and time spent in prayer with one another is a crucial part of the Christian life. We are encouraged to come together as a body of believers and make our requests known to the Lord. Likewise, we are also encouraged to take time out to be alone one on one with the Father. Several times throughout Christ's public ministry, we read that he made time to be alone in prayer.
In the final moments before his arrest, Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. "Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.' He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me' (Matthew 26:36-38).
Making time to pray with God one on one in the quietness of the garden of our heart is essential to growing in our relationship with Him. God invites us to share all of our thoughts, worries, and anxieties with him. He wants to hear from us and the best way to do this is to establish a daily time of solitude with Him. "I meet you in the stillness of your soul. It is there that I seek to commune with you" (Jesus Calling, p. 99).
2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that "the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him..." He will come to us, sit with us, and give us rest. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake" (Psalm 23:2-3).