Prayer · Silence · Solitude · Weird

solitude… silence… prayer…

She laughed out loud when I did it…

She was asking me to make a decision… I said… Let me ask God… and without thinking… leaned my head on my hand and closed my eyes…

Yes… she laughed…

Not a mean laugh… not a hint of ridicule in the laughter… just surprise… amusement… at my physical checking out from the conversation… to talk to God…

I’ve thought about it several times since it happened… and today… reviewing and editing a teaching on prayer… and with Henri Nouwen’s words fresh in my mind… I realized what I was doing…

Solitude and silence can never be separated from the call to unceasing prayer. … The Desert Fathers did not think of solitude as being alone, but as being alone with God. They did not think of silence as not speaking, but as listening to God. Solitude and silence are the context within which prayer is practiced.

–Henri J M Nouwen, The Way of the Heart

What I did… in closing my eyes… resting my head… was an act of seeking solitude and silence… in the middle of our shop… in the middle of discussion…

I know… weird…

But that’s what I see it as now… a reflexive action… of seeking Him… in a brief moment… of solitude… and… silence…

Rested head… closed eyes…

I know as well as you… we do not have to close our eyes to pray… or fold our hands… or literally go into a closet… or get down on bended knee…

Yet… there is a heart attitude which needs to be achieved… an inner solitude and silence… fully devoting attention to Him…

It’s taken me weeks to come to understand what happened in that moment… a physical manifestation… of a spiritual reality…

What about you…? how does your spiritual reality… manifest itself in the physical…?

Is there solitude…? silence…? in your inner prayer closet…? does it manifest in the physical…?

I know… it’s weird… but just wondering…

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:6 ESV

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