Point’ By Timothy Johnson The other morning we had several grandchildren spend the night. I was awake before anyone else and went downstairs. As I was sitting in my chair, I noticed the silence. No television on, no music in the background, I had left my phone upstairs; so nothing to fiddle with to occupy my time; there was only quiet.
Before I realized it, I was talking to God. The first thing I did was thank Him for the silence. I started to remember some of the life-changing talks I had with Him over the year and how many occurred when it was quiet.
I began thinking of others, the congregation, my grandchildren, my kids, the readers of this column, Christians in general and wondered how much quiet time with God people have. I wish I had more time alone with God, but wishing is not good enough, if I am to have more quiet time with God, I will have to make the time.
Jesus often went off by Himself, usually to a mountain, to pray. During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus instructs us to “when thou prayest, enter into thy closet.” He wants us to get alone time with God.
Not every prayer needs to be in secret or alone, there are dozens of examples of public prayer in the Scripture, but it seems like those quiet times with God have the most impact.
John the Baptist’s time alone with God proved powerful. John did not have to come into the cities to preach; the masses went to the wilderness to hear him.
Daniel received the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the quiet hours of the night after praying (Daniel 2:19). John was given the words of the book of Revelation by an angel while he was exiled, all alone, on Patmos.
Paul wrote four books of the New Testament, while in prison. A prison cell may not be the ideal place to be alone with God, but it did work for Paul.
The list goes on.
In my own life, the call to write this column came during a long time alone while my wife was off taking care of her ill mother.
The call to preach came as a teenage boy studied the scripture alone in his room. These are only two examples of how God moved significantly in my life during the alone moments.
Christ the night He was arrested, the eve of His crucifixion, went to the Garden of Gethsemane, divided the apostle up in groups for prayer, then went off alone to pray. It is here we see Christ pour out His heart to the Father, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39, see also Matthew 26:42,44).
How much alone time do you get with God? How often do you pour out your heart to Him? Alone time involves prayer – when we talk to God, and Bible study – when God speaks to us.
I know life is hectic – the kids, the spouse, work, getting the bills paid, mowing the grass, time for relaxation, hobbies, friends, and countless other things all make demands on our time. However, we all make time for the things that are important to us.
My best prayer times are when I walk. When we live in the country, I walked down the country roads – talking aloud to God.
When we moved to town, now I walk down the street and around the town square talking to God. I still speak aloud. I will stop and talk to people along the road, or go into a place of business and chat with the staff from time to time, but mostly I talk to God while I walk.
Alone in your room, laying on your bed at the start and end of the day, after the kids go to bed. I also do much praying while driving in the car, of course, do not close your eyes, and be attentive, but if this is where you can effectively ( and I emphasize effectively) pray, start talking to God when you put the vehicle into drive. I use to ride in the car with a friend who’s driving increased my prayer life, but that is another story.
As we live life with screens regularly on the wall, on our laps, and in our hands; with very few days without a place to go or something to do, with family, friends, co-workers, and strangers all asking for a piece of our time pie, finding time alone with God seems impossible.
Do everything possible to make the time, after all; God did not come in the wind or the earthquake, or the fire, He came in the still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12).
For over twenty years, Timothy Johnson has served both as a Pastor in three separate churches and as a correctional officer at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he earned the nickname “Preacher.”