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Embracing Quietness to Pray

by COLETTE CORREA ISOLATION & LONELINESS Quiet time with the Lord Balancing ministry, family, & life Being a woman in ministry Grief, loss, & depression Hearing God & Understanding His Will Trust Overwhelmed
Embracing Quietness to Pray
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Luke 5:16

Why do I constantly have a podcast or a sermon playing in the background while I am showering or washing the dishes? Why can’t I drive without the radio or some music or audiobook playing? Do I really need to be browsing the internet or YouTube to find something to listen to or watch when I already watched a ton of things already? Does the TV have to remain turned on, even though I am on the opposite part of the house? Why do I seem to do this all the time? Am I afraid of something or am I running from something? 

These were the questions I recently asked myself, while I was multitasking. So I turned off the audiobook book I was listening to, I sat down and started to listen to silence. Very quickly that silence was invaded by distant barks and honks from the street. They were beautiful organic sounds that I often drowned with music, audiobooks, or sermons. But why did I often do that? I paused … thought about it … and even though I wanted to deny it, I knew that it was because I was afraid that in those times of silence, I would hear my thoughts reiterate that I was lonely. 

As I was thinking about that, a passage of Scripture came to mind: “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places.” I knew it was The Holy Spirit bringing that passage to my remembrance and so I immediately felt encouraged. I searched for it in The Bible and found it in Luke 5:16 and it said: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (NIV) As I read the passage, I had an ah ha moment and my spirit revived. JESUS WITHDREW TO SOLITARY PLACES, WHERE THERE WAS NO COMMOTION. HE EMBRACED QUIETNESS AND WHILE THERE HE PRAYED! Jesus turned everything off so He could pray. 

If Jesus needed to withdraw from people, from commotion, to connect to His Father, how much more do we need to find a solitary place to pause, pray and listen to The Holy Spirit? Isolating ourselves and letting our anxious thoughts run rampant is breeding ground for the enemy to build strongholds in our minds; however, how liberating it is to be able to walk away from commotions in our lives to a solitary place so we can commune with God Almighty, our Heavenly Father. 

What if times of healthy isolation and loneliness were occasions for us to consecrate ourselves to pray rather than let our anxious thoughts condemn us with the “I didn’t, I should have, I could have, I would have, I wish I did… etc.”? Today, I’m choosing to make that shift, so my time of solitude is well spent in prayer. How about you, what will you do? 

Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You that You desire to commune with me. Forgive me for the times when I have drowned out Your voice with music, podcasts, sermons, movies… etc. Now I see the benefit of healthy isolation and loneliness. I want to follow Jesus’ example and learn to walk away from busyness and commune with You. Help me be more discerning, so I can withdraw more often to solitary places where I can meet You, pray and listen to You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Question for Reflection

What are some practical things we can do when we battle loneliness?

Colette Correa
February 12, 2024

Here are some practical things we can do when we battle loneliness:
Pray and remain rooted in the Word. Open your heart to God and pour your heart before Him. Ask Him for wisdom and direction on how to deal with the emotions you feel. Moreover, ask Him to help you see your worth and identity in Christ, as you dive in the Word.
Remain part of a community. Either you are married or single, it is very important to be part of a community because it is a place where you will be encouraged and able to share the challenges you face. Within my church, I have some close friends who know me well enough to discern when something is wrong and they usually don’t hesitate to pull me aside and ask me what’s happening. They are able to do that because I am part of that community.
Understand the season you are in. Women go through different seasons in their lives and the young 20 year old women that we were is not the same when we turn 30 or when we transition to 40, 50 or 60. Being cognizant of the emotional, mental, physical transitions that will take place in different seasons of our lives can help us understand, prepare well and make smooth transitions.
Set up a time with a Christian therapist (if needed). While on the field, it might seem hard to connect with a therapist, especially when we are in a different country than our own, however, if a therapist cannot be found locally where you serve, set up one online. A year ago, I felt I needed to speak to a therapist and booked a couple of online sessions and it was very helpful. If your preference is to see one in person, this is an option you can consider as well and discuss those options with your organization’s member care.
Communicate with the Member Care within your organization. Member Care can often time provide you with resources on how to deal with loneliness and make reference to nearest therapist.