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The Need for Solitude

January 17, 2008

I get a daily devo by A.W. Tozer.  If you have not heard of him or read any of his writings, I highly encourage you to check him out.  I have been very blessed and encouraged by his zest & zeal for the Lord.

A. W. Tozer

A.W. Tozer

Here is my devo for today…

January: Personal Life

Some things may be neglected with but little loss to the spiritual life, but to neglect communion with God is to hurt ourselves where we cannot afford it.

The Root of the Righteous, 9.

January 17

Personal Life: The Need for Solitude

And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.        

–Matthew 14:23

Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our strength before going out to face the world again.

“The thoughtful soul to solitude retires,” said the poet of other and quieter times; but where is the solitude to which we can retire today? Science, which has provided men with certain material comforts, has robbed them of their souls by surrounding them with a world hostile to their existence. “Commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still” is a wise and healing counsel, but how can it be followed in this day of the newspaper, the telephone, the radio and the television? These modern playthings, like pet tiger cubs, have grown so large and dangerous that they threaten to devour us all. What was intended to be a blessing has become a positive curse. No spot is now safe from the world’s intrusion. Of God and Men, 125.

“If Tozer wrestled with this in his day, how much more are we bombarded today! We have all the influences of which he speaks, and much more all-pervasive, plus the internet and a host of other ‘playthings’ seeking to devour us. Lord, help us somehow to escape today and retire to solitude, even if only for a brief time. Amen.”


I know that for me, the word “solitude” brings to my mind a place that I rarely visit.  It requires peace & quiet, no distractions and impossible conditions for my house.  With 10 kids how in the world am I to find solitude?  What does that look like for a mom?

Have you heard of Susanna Wesley

 She had way more kids than I do  and in much more difficult circumstances (no TV babysitters, electric appliances, no internet, etc…) and she still found 2 hours everyday to find solitude and time with her Lord.  I’m thinking if she can do it, so can I.  Well, at least 30 minutes…don’t you think? 

I go back the the scripture that Tozer began his devo with.

“And when he sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.”

Even Christ himself understood the power & importance of solitude.  He sent the multitudes away and went by himself to pray.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  I can’ tell you how many times in my day I would love to send my multitudes away so I can pray or just have some quiet time to myself.  My multitudes may be different from yours.  They aren’t always my kids.  Some of my other distractions are things like TV, internet, to-do lists, phone calls & and many many more.  But we can learn from Jesus that we are to make a concerted effort and get rid of our distractions even if it is just for 5 minutes everyday.

 5 minutes of solitude sounds much more doable to me than 2 hours.


Try it…5 minutes a day of solitude.  While you are there for you short little 5 minutes try praying this prayer…

Lord Jesus Christ Son of God

Have mercy on me a sinner.

Say this over and over for 1 minute and see how peaceful you become.  Then spend a minute thanking God for whatever you can think of.  Then spend the next minute praying for those in your life. And spend the remainder of your time confessing your sin.


Just 5 minutes!


One Comment leave one →
  1. koen permalink
    September 25, 2008 3:06 pm

    I can relate so well to the struggle to find solitude, especially in a home with 7 children. My introvert personality has always been one that needed some time for meditation and solitude. Over time I have learned to go without it as much or in the way that i was use to before children. The struggle to MAKE the time was compounded with what do I put off doing? Nothing I do during the day is wasteful or unnecessary. We school, do laundry, continually do dishes throughout and sweep, cook supper, try to spend some time with the children… its not like I am sewing (which i would like to do), watching movies, or doing my nails! (which i have none)

    I was also used to being able to have Bible study in the mornings (early) for at least an hour. As time went on and more children came that became more and more rare. The last 4 children being close together meant I hadnt slept for 4 years through the night. (I am sure others experiences are more difficult in this area-) But what I am trying to say is that God has graciously shown me and helped me come to terms with the fact that my time with Him does not have to be ‘this one way’. It was so norm for me and so ingrained in my head that you must rise at the crack of dawn and spend hours with Him to be ready to face the day. Well, that would be nice but it isn’t reality for this season of my life. God looks at our heart and I very strongly believe it is our heart He wants. So if we rise giving Him our first thought, breath in prayer and then continue the day in fellowship with Him, praying about everything, calling out to Him when we are stressed or facing a challenge, that is where our relationship is. If we spend time in His word in the afternoon or night, that is fine. It is not a sin to not have a time with Him in the morning. What He cares the most amount is our walking with Him, worshiping Him throughout the day. Yes our minds get distracted and busy, but as soon as they are freed from that algebra problem or reading the recipe…turn them back towards Him. Pray the verse you read that day. Talk to Him as your friend. That is the relationship and practicing His presence in our life.

    I think another thing as i read your article is that our children are part of that process He uses to teach us and grow us. Even or especially in the frustrations and challenges they bring. We are being refined and our responses in those situations more clearly reveal where we are in the Lord.

    Yes we definitely need to be with the Lord in His Word, but sometimes we need to be more open to how and when being with Him is carried out. We get so caught up on one way, and it is not always the only way. ( I want to make it clear here that I am not saying to not be in Gods word but the time we are in Gods word is not what is written in stone) God is not bound by our perceptions of the way things ought to be. I say all that because this is where I was, and I felt trapped because of my inability to live up to the way I expected things should be (time with Him) He showed me 1) what I just wrote above and 2) He can take the few minutes of heartfelt seeking Him I might get in the bathroom with a short devotion (which I tenderly named my ‘manna minutes’) than if I out of duty read a chapter in the morning half asleep or in a rush.
    A nugget of gold is worth more than a heap of stone. (myquote)

    God is so good to break the chains we often tie ourselves in. He is so beautiful to want such an intimate relationship with us. Praise Him
    Psalm 31:19 He has treasures stored up for us, we just need to turn to Him
    Psalm 34 is a great reminder to magnify Him not the difficulties we face

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