We spend a lot of time every day using our devices, catching up on our emails, texts and news. Or we stare at their brightly lit screens looking for entertainment, distractions or information. Our electronic “buddies” always go with us everywhere, from our night table to our work desk. The problem is that this constant electronic connection to the world around us, whether we like it or not, has a corrosive effect on our spiritual life. Our Christian life is in “digital jeopardy.
Apparently, this era of connectivity makes it impossible for us to have any time alone or uninterrupted communion with the Lord. Our time is consumed and our mind is preoccupied. Nevertheless, the words spoken by the Lord in Matthew 6 are clear. Enter your room. Close the door. Pray.
The distractions of the modern world
Today we can turn around a world that fits comfortably in the palm of our hand without any inconvenience. However, even though technology is still on the move and life is advancing rapidly, there is one thing that never changes: our need for daily communion with God.
We may have given up and think that we simply cannot have personal time alone with the Lord in this busy world; somehow we must take on the turmoil around us and do all we can to live the Christian life. Perhaps we can hope that “someday” when our lives are less busy and more peaceful, we will be able to get away and spend time alone with the Lord.
Realistically, however, that “someday” will probably never come. The occupations and distractions do not diminish. On the contrary, in this age of connectivity we are increasingly besieged with things to read or watch, catch up with a person or a notice to which we have to respond. Everything is at our fingertips with a simple click or tap on the screen.
We endanger our Christian walk by thinking that we can wait until we are less busy. The Christian life is for us to live today. It is not something we can put off. So what should we do? How can we lead a life of prayer in an age of so many distractions?
We must recognize the danger and pray that the Lord will help us
First, we must be aware of the danger that the distractions of the present age pose to our spiritual life. We cannot deal with the problem if we are not aware that there is a problem.
Certainly, modern technology makes our life and work easier and more efficient. However, our computer, tablet, smart phone and television, no matter how convenient, can easily steal all of our time and attention. As a result, we lose the opportunity to spend time in secret with the Lord. We may tell ourselves that we do not have time to be alone with the Lord in prayer, but this has more to do with the fact that our time, heart, and attention have been consumed by other things.
Four Practical Points for Prayer Alone
Because the Lord is the Spirit in our spirit He is always with us and available to us. We can commune with Him at any time by calling on His name, talking to Him during the day, and remaining open to His guidance. However, in addition to this, the following points can help us establish and maintain a life of prayer alone.
- Establish a set time: choose a time of day when you can get away from it all and spend more time with Christ. Establish this time to pray alone with the Lord, and don’t overlook it! The best time of day to do this is early in the morning, when we are calm and rested, before the day’s occupations begin.
- Find a place where you can be “alone”: look for a place away from people and things that distract you, your little “mountain”. It can be your vehicle, a room, a park, your backyard, anywhere you can pray without being interrupted.
- Turn off all your appliances: In order to put all our attention on the Lord whom we love, we need to turn off our phone or put it away. It is difficult to have a deep conversation or develop a relationship with another person if we are constantly looking at our phone or watching a screen. We give the impression that what we are looking at on our device is more important to us than who is with us. It is the same with the Lord. Turn everything off and turn your attention to Him. Talk to Him. Look at Him. Love Him.
- Pray with the Bible: to begin your time, you can start by praying that your heart will be open to the Lord. Prayer is the best way to exercise our spirit to contact the Lord and have fellowship with Him. Perhaps He will enlighten you in some sin. If so, simply confess the sin to Him and the Lord will forgive and cleanse you. Then open your Bible. Many times we do not know what to pray or what to say to the Lord, and our mind is often wandering. However, we can use the words of the Bible to pray.
If we have the grace of the Lord to supply us, it is possible to maintain a life of prayer alone today. However, to cooperate with the Lord’s help, we must choose to spend time with Him, enter our room, and close the door.
When we isolate ourselves from the world, we enjoy His sweet presence, His speaking, and His Spirit who imparts life to us in our spirit as we commune with Him in prayer and in the Word. These times alone with the Lord will supply and sustain us each day in order to live a healthy and joyful Christian life.