Day 24 | This Lent is for Solitude

"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."
- Luke 5:16 NIV

Solitude has been a common spiritual practice for many historically during the season of Lent, but this year the idea of being alone has a unique flavor to it. If Jesus at the height of his ministry would still draw away and spend time in prayer and solitude, it has to be an essential for us as well, and to me, this seems to be the perfect time to explore a little purposeful solitude-seeking.

Henri Nouwen, in part 1 of his book Reaching Out, invites us to consider the strength of inner movement from "loneliness" to "solitude," how the two are different, and how developing "solitude of heart" is actually the beginning of a rich spiritual life, which can be achieved and enjoyed whether all alone somewhere or in the most crowded of rooms, surrounded by people and chaos all around.

Consider these, some brief thoughts from his writing on the topic:

"Instead of running away from our loneliness," he says, "and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude."

"A young student reflecting on his own experience wrote recently:
When loneliness is haunting me with its possibility of being a threshold instead of a dead end, a new creation instead of a grave, a meeting place instead of an abyss, then time loses its desperate clutch on me. Then I no longer have to live in a frenzy of activity, overwhelmed and afraid for the missed opportunity."

"A friend once wrote: 'Learning to weep, learning to keep vigil, learning to wait for the dawn. Perhaps this is what it means to be human.' It is hard to really believe this because we constantly find ourselves clinging to people, books, events, experiences, projects, and plans, secretly hoping that this time it will be different. We keep experimenting with many types of anesthetics...

The few times, however, that we do... listen carefully to our restless hearts, we may start to sense that in the midst of our sadness there is joy, that in the midst of our fears there is peace, that in the midst of our greediness there is the possibility of compassion and that indeed in the midst of our irking loneliness we can find the beginnings of a quiet solitude."

Freedom and grace,
Andrea Baker
Worship Director

Love to have you email to share with us any praise, encouragement, or prayer requests you may have during this season, and we'll be taking time to pray and respond.

Listen to our worship song of the day, Lord, I Need You, below or find it here on Spotify on our 2020 Lenten Worship Playlist, growing daily one song at a time.
Posted in

Related Posts

1 Comment

Steve - March 25th, 2020 at 10:57pm


I find myself alone.

Not by choice.

Possibly not by chance.



What do I discover here?

Who do I discover here?

In this aloneness.

In this loneliness?

In this...


Do I find,

do I see,

Only myself?

Or do I see,

do I hear...


Lord, in this time.

In this time of loneliness...

In this time of aloneness...

In this time of solitude...

May I be alone with you.

May I have solitude with you.

May I hear you.

May I feel you.

May I see you.

Lord, may I use this time.

May I use this time to hear you.

May I use this time to feel you.

May I use this time to see you.

For I am not alone.

You are here.

I am not lonely.

You are here.

I am not lost.

You are here.

I am not desperate.

You are here.

Lord, in this time,

I seek you.

I turn to you.

I lean on you.

I expect you.


I am yours






no tags