Time Alone with God

Recently I spent a morning alone with God in prayer at St Martin’s University Abbey in Lacey, Washington. I’ve discovered that getting time alone in prayer to listen and hear what God wants me to do is of incredible value — yet unfortunately, I find it quite challenging to actually set time aside for this purpose. When a church planter invited me to join him in setting this time aside, I jumped at the opportunity.

I started my time with God by opening my Bible to Mark 6 — to read, reflect and do SOAP Journaling. As I read through the chapter, I sensed God speaking to me about my need to spend time away with Him. In verse 31, Jesus tells the disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest awhile.” Isn’t that a fantastic invitation?

I reflected on this in my journal…They recognized that they needed a break from the pace of life and ministry, so they left the crowd with all their needs to get some time together This was a choice.

Jesus, likewise, after a day of teaching followed by feeding dinner to over 5,000 men, departed to pray (verse 46). He chose to spend time with God on the mountain. He didn’t just go to sleep at the end of the day. He didn’t seek physical rest. He went to spend time alone talking with God.

As I reflected on my time with God that day, I felt ashamed that I don’t do this more often — that I hadn’t done it in quite awhile. Why not? Do I really think that I can sustain anything on my own? Don’t I believe that I need God desperately?

I confessed my failure to God. As I attempted to apply what I saw Jesus doing to my own life, I made a commitment to set aside time in my calendar each week to simply pray — and to set aside time each month for extended time alone with God. That’s why I’m posting this on my blog. I want to publicly announce my commitment and invite anyone who may read this to ask me if I’m actually doing it. It’s not enough to have good intentions about spending time alone with God if I don’t follow through. So – feel free to ask me about my time alone with God. And please pray that I will keep this commitment!

Here’s my closing prayer –

Lord, I’m embarrassed that the essence of my prayer life is represented by short paragraphs in my journal. Please forgive me for my lack of prayerful dependence on you. Help me to talk freely and to live daily in relationship with You, my Lord and my Savior. Amen.

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Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
1 reply
  1. israel
    israel says:

    hello. just dropping by because iw want to be part of a missional community. I'm Israel Tarlit, a pastor in the Philippines. Being missional is rarely heard here in our country. I learned about this because of some friends who shared some books. I also do the SOAP and you're right about taking time to be with God. I share the feeling. God bless

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