Monday, April 4, 2011

Solitude in the Garden

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35).

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).

The stillness of our soul can be found in the solitude of the garden of our heart. As we ask God to continue to weed and prune the areas of our life, we should also invite him to sit with us in the stillness of the garden. Imagine having tea or lemonade with a close friend under the cool shade of a large oak tree. That is what it's like to sit with Jesus and open our heart up to Him. Share everything both good and bad and allow Him to comfort, work, and move within.

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).

1 comment:

  1. You are right. I spend my first waking moments with my with my devotions and in prayer, everyday. On the few occasions I could not, the whole day seemed wrong. Priorities. He needs to our first.