Byline // Allan Swinson
Can I confess something to you? I’m an introverted extrovert. What do I mean by that? I’m an extrovert, by nature. I love people! But I also have an introverted side to me that wants – no, NEEDS to get away by myself at times and recharge my batteries.
No matter how you are wired – whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or a mixture of the two like me – I believe God has designed us to need time alone. Why? Because we are never truly alone. God is always with us. And God, our heavenly Father, is longing for us to get alone by ourselves so we can spend some time alone with Him. A bedrock of a life of prayer is a life marked by intentional, protected time alone.
I know, easier said than done, right? Depending on your age and stage of life, alone time can be incredibly hard to come by. Whether it’s kids, friends, a pesky-but-well-meaning neighbor, the phone, or even your spouse, in our always-connected world it has become increasingly harder to find even 30 minutes that you can protect for just you. But we must find the time. Jesus modeled this for us beautifully. In Mark 1:35 we read, “Rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Ironically, in the very next verse, the people come looking for Him! Not much has changed in 2000 years; the pressures of life then were similar to the pressures of life now. But Jesus knew this, and that’s why He got up early, before the day came crashing in around Him, and made time to pray.
Your prayer time doesn’t have to be early in the morning. But it does need to be intentional. It does need to be protected. And it needs to be a regular part of your life. Luke 5:16 says that Jesus would often withdraw to desolate places to pray. He valued and safeguarded time alone with His Father. As His disciples, we should do the same.