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Why is it important to spend time alone with God?

Every relationship takes time to develop. While a relationship with God differs from other relationships in many ways, it still follows the same rules. The Bible is full of analogies that help us understand our relationship with God. Christ, for example, is portrayed as the bridegroom, while the Church is portrayed as the bride. Marriage is the union of two people's lives into one (Genesis 2:24). This type of intimacy necessitates time spent alone with one another. Another type of relationship is that between a father and his child. Children and parents who have special "alone time" together have close parental relationships. Spending time alone with a loved one allows you to get to know that person better. It's no different when you spend time alone with God. When we're alone with God, we grow closer to Him and learn more about Him than when we're in a group setting.

God longs for us to spend "alone time" with him. He desires a close relationship with us. He made us unique by "knitting" us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). God is aware of every detail of our lives, including the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). "You are worth more than many sparrows," he says, referring to the sparrows individually (Matthew 10:29, 31). He invites us to know Him by coming to Him (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 22:17; Song of Solomon 4:8). We will seek God early (Psalm 63:1) and spend time with Him if we want to know Him intimately. We will sit at Jesus' feet, listening to His voice, as Mary did (Luke 10:39). We will thirst and hunger for righteousness, and we will be satisfied with it (Matthew 5:6).

Following biblical examples may be the best reason for us to spend time alone with God. God summons prophets to come to Him alone in the Old Testament. Moses had a one-on-one encounter with God at the burning bush and then on Mt. Sinai. While on the run from Saul, David, whose many psalms reflect a confident familiarity with God, communed with Him (Psalm 57). While Elijah was in the cave, God's presence passed by. Jesus spent time alone with God in the New Testament (Matthew 14:13; Mark 1:35; Mark 6:45-46; Mark 14:32-34; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18; John 6:15). When we pray, Jesus actually tells us to go into our rooms, close the door, and pray to our Father, who is unseen: "When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen" (Matthew 6:6a).

We must be directly and intimately connected to Jesus in order to rely on Him as our vine (John 15:1-8). We are linked directly to Christ and thus share in a community, just as a branch is linked directly to the vine and, through the vine, connected to other branches. For the best nourishment, we spend time alone with God and in corporate worship. We will have unmet needs if we do not spend time alone with God; we will not truly know the abundant life He provides.

Spending time alone with God clears our minds of all distractions, allowing us to concentrate on Him and His Word. We enjoy the intimacy to which He calls us as we abide in Him and come to truly know Him.


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