Question: Do you spend time alone with God?
Acts 20:13 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.
14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.
15 We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus.
16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
In summary, Paul walks to Assos alone. Then they sailed together to Mitylene. They sailed past Ephesus to save time so Paul could make it to Jerusalem by Pentecost, but they land in Miletus.
Do you practice the spiritual discipline of Solitude?
We don’t know why Paul decided to walk to Assos alone. He sent the others to sail, but he wanted to go by foot. This made me think of the spiritual discipline of solitude.
Being around friends, family, and coworkers is great. Spending time doing activities with them is a blessing. But we also need to spend time on our own – just ourselves with the Holy Spirit of God. We need time to think, to meditate on the scriptures, to listen, and to pray.
Jesus spent time alone. Of course there was the forty days of fasting and temptation, but after that time he also often went out alone and prayed.
Luke 5:15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.
16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Luke 6:12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luke 22:39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
In my Christian life, prayer has always been a discipline I lacked. Last year I tore my ACL playing soccer. The Dr said I should not play for one year. So I started doing some trail walking to get some excersise that was easy on my knees. But what I found was a great time of solitude and prayer. I call them prayer walks. I now look forward to those prayer walks. After I pray awhile, I ask God to reveal who I should pray for next. The names just begin to flood into my mind. Before you know it, a 40 minute to one hour walk is not long enough to pray for everything.
Where do you pray?
Jesus often went to the wilderness.
He said go to your closet to pray.
The song says, I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses….
The best place for me is on walking trails.
Yes, I think Paul needed some alone time with God. How about you? I encourage you to add the spiritual disciplines of Silence, Solitude, and Prayer to your spiritual “walk” – pun intended :).
God bless. Bob