Series 7 Spiritual Disciplines Lesson 9: Solitude

Solitude is being alone and focusing your thoughts on God.  Solitude is where we meet God face to face – the place where we can best hear his voice.  Although we often think of solitude as something to be practiced in day long retreats, it is a discipline we can practice on a daily basis. 

If solitude is new to you, begin with 15 minutes.  Sit comfortably in a quiet place, free from distractions.  Breathe in deeply, hold the breath for a count of 4, and release slowly.  Visualize yourself in the presence of God.  Ask God to make his presence known to you.  Listen to the promptings of the Spirit.

Solitude can be practiced even in a busy lifestyle.  Consider making your commute a time of solitude with God.  Turn off the radio and focus your thoughts on God.  Listen to his voice.  If you exercise regularly, this can be a time of solitude with God.  Be creative to find time alone with God each day.

Read I Kings 19.  This encounter takes place just after Elijah’s powerful experience of God on Mount Carmel, where the prophets of Baal were defeated.  Yet Elijah feels alone, afraid and dejected, to the point of wanting to die.

Read verses 1-9Note Elijah’s mental state and the length of his journey alone.

Read verses 9-13Reflect on the conversation between God and Elijah.  Imagine Elijah’s expectations and reactions to each of the manifestations of God’s power.  Journal your thoughts.

Read verses 13-18.  How does God respond to Elijah’s words?  Record your reflections.

Read verses 19-21.  How does Elijah respond?

Consider a time when you felt alone – as though the world was against you and even God had abandoned you.  What hope do you find in this story?

Pray:  Thank God for being in the solitude.  Know that you are not journeying alone.

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