The Surprising Benefits of Praying Alone

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“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” -Matthew 14:23 (NIV)

Some people load their days with activities, clutter their calendars with appointments and fill the air with music — anything to drown out the sounds of silence. Which is too bad, really.

Because God often speaks in a still, small voice — the kind heard only in moments of silence (see 1 Kings 19:11–13).

You will discover two occasions in Matthew 14 when Jesus left the crowds and retired to a quiet place to pray.

John Calvin comments on the importance of the Savior’s search for solitude.

Walk with John Calvin

“By going to the mountain he was seeking a time of prayer free from interruption.

“We all know how easily prayer can be quenched by the least distraction.

“Although Christ did not suffer from this weakness, he warned us by his example to be careful to disengage our minds from the snares of the world, so that we may be carried up to heaven.

“The most important thing is solitude. Those who pray with God as their only witness will be more watchful, will pour forth their hearts to him, and will examine themselves more carefully.”

Walk Closer to God

Silence. How often do you experience it? What priority do you give it?

Jesus left the accolades of the crowds and climbed a mountain. There he prayed until “shortly before dawn” (Matthew 14:25). Jesus was committed to prayer!

God hears your hurried prayers. But he yearns for you to give him an uncluttered slice of your time, free from the distractions of your busy day.

It will seldom happen by accident. In fact, you may have to turn off your cell phone, walk away from your computer, rearrange your schedule. But what a small price to pay to “be still, and know” God (Psalm 46:10)!

Zondervan

For over eighty years, Zondervan has partnered with authors to deliver transformational, educational and vocational resources that renew minds, enrich lives, and change the world.

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