- What priorities keep you too busy to practice silence and solitude?
John Mark described internal silence as being able to quiet the thoughts, worries, and questions rolling around in our minds. But silence can be difficult to find when our hearts and minds feel troubled. Even in short prayers, it can be difficult to remain focused on God without thinking about errands that need to be run and emails that need our attention.
- What would make internal silence difficult for you to pursue?
Solitude isn’t the same as loneliness or isolation. Solitude is a chosen separation from busyness so that you can be quiet in the presence of God.
- What has quality time with God typically looked like for you?
Take a moment to examine some of your closest relationships—like a spouse, best friend, or family member who lives with you.
- How would a lack of quality time affect those relationships?
John Mark reminded us that when it comes to practicing solitude with God, we should begin wherever we are without stressing about where we want to be. Solitude can be as simple as spending five minutes in prayer before bed or reading Scripture during a few minutes of quiet.
- What could it look like for you to take a step toward finding solitude with God this week?
Read Matthew 6:25–34.
- What needs are you afraid won’t be met if you take time to be alone with God?
- What could it look like for you to trust him more in that particular area of your life?
- What would it look like to trust God when you feel like you aren’t being productive?
- What could it look like for you to bring all your anxious thoughts to God this week?
Meditate: Practice silence and solitude this week by picking a short passage of Scripture to meditate on like Matthew 6:25–34 or Mark 1:29–37. Meditate on the passage repeatedly during your quiet time throughout the week.
Memorize: Mark 1:35, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”