Silence and Solitude

Thursday, March 20, 2014

This week I’ve been purposely and intentionally drawing near to God. Like many of you, I tend to get distracted during the day with all the busyness of life and coming before the Lord sadly is put on the back burner. That is not to say I don’t pray or read my Bible, I do! In fact, I tend to pray often throughout the day, no matter where I am – in the kitchen or car, or at the store or even working in the yard. But today, I’m talking about simply coming quietly before Him and listening - listening for His voice above all the noise of my day.

In my Bible study on Tuesday, our speaker encouraged us to practice the spiritual discipline of Solitude and Silence. What does that mean? Simply put, it means to choose a time and a place when there are no distractions and intentionally focus on God. God is always there, waiting for us. It is we who are not always receptive to Him.

“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

Years ago, I used to have what many call “quiet time” early in the morning before the kids were awake. But now, especially this week, I’m discovering that just after my husband goes to work is the best time for me. Some people choose their lunch break at work, or before they go to bed at night. Each one of us is different, as God has uniquely made us. So the time in our day that works the best for this will also be different. What is most important is not the time of day, but rather, the desire and discipline to seek Him.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8

Our speaker at the Bible study suggested some wonderful steps, which I have been implementing into this time. First, to help clear my mind as I prepare, I pull out my journal and write down my emotions. Doing this gets them “off my chest” so to speak and helps me to be more open to Him. I have written down single words as well as sentences that express how I am feeling. Then, the next thing I do is read scripture, for it is through God’s Word that He often speaks. Before this week, I had gotten into the habit of doing my Bible study homework during this time. I realize, though that is a good thing, it is not what is needed during this time of solitude with Him. Instead, I simply read His Word, savoring each verse. I love to underline and highlight things in my Bible and quite often the things that seem to “pop” out at me are just the perfect words I need to hear.

Following the time of reading, I sit quietly. This can be challenging for many people who are used to noise all around them. But removing the distractions such as the radio, computer or TV is important. In the silence, our brains will definitely switch on and thoughts about our day or things we need to do will sneak in. But, I am learning to push those away during these minutes and remain focused on God, simply listening with my heart, relaxing and breathing. Then, to close this time of quiet and solitude, I pray whatever comes to mind.

As I’ve been focusing on this practice this week, I’m discovering a beautiful, peaceful time with Him. What I have “heard” is simply the soothing sound of being with Him. I feel calmer, clearer and more connected with the Lord and I can sense that through this discipline, our relationship is being nourished. I feel growth within me and the blessing of a deepening relationship that is bringing comfort and peace.

Resting in Him,






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19 comments

  1. I love "savoring each verse." Reminds me of "Thy words were good and I did eat them and they were the joy and rejoicing of mine heart." These are good steps to use, Joan. I will be using the journal idea of getting my emotions on paper first.

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  2. I really enjoyed this, Joan. They are tips I can put into practice for my morning time with Him. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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  3. This is amazing, Joan! Our pastor recently spoke on this very subject several weeks ago. He challenged us to try "just listening" to the Lord, as He speaks to our hearts.(Even if we start with just taking 5-10 minutes in silence and add to the time as we go). This isn't easy at first, like you said. It can be uncomfortable, like sitting in a room with someone you know and not speaking a word to each other. But He will speak to us, if we seek His presence in our lives. So glad you have had such a beautiful experience, being in silence and solitude! I am reminded that this is an important part of our relationship to grow in the Lord!!
    Have a blessed weekend!! Ann

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  4. A much needed reminder - for me :) I must be intentional to set time aside each day without the distractions. Thinking on this, when I am distracted, He does not get my undivided attention which He is so deserving of. So glad I stopped here from Everyday Jesus.

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  5. Love this, Joan
    Reminds me of that sweet verse in Psalms -- "Be still and know that I am God."

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  6. Yes, I've found that getting my emotions and initial thoughts out on paper helps me to stay focused during the rest of the time with Him. It has been a great help!


    Blessings, Joan

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  7. I'm glad you found some ideas to help with your time with the Lord. He loves it when we intentionally spend time with Him!
    Blessings, Joan

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  8. Sometimes sitting in silence can feel awkward. I think it is because we are so used to doing, doing, doing! But with practice, this time seeking him in silence becomes something incredibly peaceful and beautiful.


    Blessings to you, Ann! Joan

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  9. For me, when I realized that choosing a different time of day than what I had traditionally used (early morning) I felt such a relief! I was able to sit quietly and spend this important time with Him without distractions and gained so much!


    Blessings, Joan

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  10. Exactly! During the time when I am simply listening, I am training myself to focus on Him...on His presence and knowing who He is. That helps to keep the other thoughts from creeping in :-)


    Blessings, Joan

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  11. Beautiful and true, Joan! I love my quiet time... I have a few during the day, mainly because my morning quiet time is not so quiet with a toddler in the house (and she wakes up at the crack 'o dawn so getting up before her isn't very productive.) I love my sweet, silent time with Jesus. Thanks for this reminder!

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  12. began to follow you today, I think you and I have lots in common. I just finished a four day silent retreat. I have found I have to intentionally go on some type of silent and solitude event each year to help me hear God better amidst the noise of everyday. Interesting to read your post as I too have seen difference in my quiet time in different seasons of my life. We just need to be intentional in finding our what works the best for us in the present time. Lovely blog.

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  13. I remember those busy mornings with a little one in the house! Yes...sleep as long as she'll let you! lol I'm so glad you are able to find a different time of the day, like I have, to come before the Lord! Blessings, Joan

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  14. Yes, being intentional and finding the right time is important. And when we are spending that quality time with Him, he will bless our time together!


    Thanks for coming by! Blessings, Joan

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  15. That's a great idea...Making a special spot for our time with Him will get us out of our usual routines and like you wrote, keep us away from our typical distractions!

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  16. it is a beautiful thing to have that precious time! loved your post!

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  17. Thanks, Jenilee! And, I so agree...spending that special time with the Lord is a wonderful thing! I love drawing near to Him because it is then that I feel our relationship deepening! What a blessing!

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  18. My heart and my head need these times of quiet solitude. I don't get them as often as I should, but I am thankful for quiet moments throughout my day. Blessings!

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  19. They are a huge blessing, aren't they? I pray you enjoy more and more opportunities for them throughout your week!


    Blessings, Joan

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