This morning as I was preparing for work, I thought through all that was on my plate for the day and began to feel a bit overwhelmed. Then, a small thought came into my mind… “Maybe you need some aloneness in prayer.” It occurred to me that it was exactly what I was needing…even craving – aloneness.
As I sat with the word for a bit, the concept became clearer to me. Aloneness isn’t just being alone…and it isn’t loneliness. It is an attitude of prayer that takes every thought captive in order to dwell within the heart of God for a season of time. There is no conversation. It is simply being with God. Clement of Alexandria called this kind of prayer “keeping company with God.” It is relationship rather than a rigorous discipline. It is prayer that is simple, honest, pure and uncomplicated. It doesn’t involve doing …the act itself is an expression of love towards the Father, and an opportunity to receive love from Him. I equate it to simply sitting beside my husband, being comforted that he is there, knowing that he loves me and I love him…but not needing to say anything at all. There is aloneness in not feeling pressured to have conversation…but to simply hang out together.
The Praxis of Aloneness
How does one practice “aloneness”?
1. By being “okay” with the feeling that one doesn’t need to do anything except “be.”
2. By recognizing when it is time to stop activity for at least a short season of time…
3. By loving God enough to cultivate relationship that has no expectations or requirements in moments of aloneness. There are no “rules” to aloneness. It is not a legalistic practice…it is an essential one.
What Are the Benefits of Aloneness?
1. Jesus beckoned His disciples to come away with him to a quiet place to get some rest (Mark 6:31) during an especially intense and busy time of ministry. Rest is a power benefit of aloneness.
2. Focusing upon simply “being” with God deepens and strengthens our love relationship with Him.
3. Allowing our minds and bodies to rest in the love of God opens our hearts and guides us into moments of trust and peace.
4. Aloneness cultivates faithfulness and gratefulness because we are not too busy to keep company with Him.
As God’s people discover the importance of aloneness with God, our effectiveness for the kingdom will grow exponentially. Continual striving leads to burn-out, discouragement, stress, etc. When we bring our lives intentionally and prayerfully into His Presence, all of our kingdom work will be fueled from the depths of His love poured into our waiting and receptive hearts.
“I said to myself, ‘Relax and rest.
God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you’ve been rescued from death;
Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;
And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling’” (Psalm 116:7-8 MSG).
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle with God as we align our hearts with His plans and purposes for His glory and for the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website). Kim is a member of America's National Prayer Committee, VP of Gospel Revivals, Inc. and on the Advisory Board for America Prays.
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.