Why should I spend time alone with God?
Every relationship and friendship grows deeper and grows closer through spending time together. It's no different in your relationship with God. It is important to spend time alone with God in order to know Him more. When we spend time with God, we experience a freedom to express ourselves to Him and we allow Him to speak with us directly through His Word (the Bible) and through prayer.
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It is the unique privilege of believers to spend time alone with God. Apart from salvation in Christ, there exists hostility and enmity between us and God because of our sin (Colossians 1:21). However, because of God's great love for us, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Therefore, if, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, then the wall of hostility between you and God is demolished and you will be reconciled to God (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:20–22). In talking about Jesus as our High Priest, the writer of Hebrews says we are able to "with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). Paul writes something similar in Ephesians 3:12. As believers, we are able to spend time alone with God. And, realizing how much God has loved us, we will desire to spend time alone with Him (Psalm 42:1).
We also spend time alone with God out of love. Before the fall, man walked in fellowship with God (Genesis 3:8). In heaven, believers in Christ will dwell forever in the very presence of God (Revelation 21:3). It is clear from both the creation of the world and the consummation of all things, that it is God's desire that we dwell with Him. The fact that He would sacrifice His only begotten Son in order that we who were far from Him could be brought near demonstrates the greatness of His desire (Ephesians 2:13; John 3:16). Furthermore, when God saves us, He seals us with His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). That Spirit causes us to cry out to God as our loving Father, indicating that we can have an intimate relationship with God (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:15). Spending time alone with God is a way to fellowship with Him and to abide in Christ (John 15:1–11).
It is important to spend time alone with God because God is the source of our strength and we need His strength to fight the spiritual battles of our lives (Ephesians 6:10-20; 1 Peter 5:8–9). A Christian has three enemies—the world, the flesh, and the Devil (Galatians 4:3; 5:17; James 4:7). The Christian life is one of continuous spiritual warfare. The Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, and prayer are amongst the spiritual weapons at our disposal (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17–18). When we spend time alone with God, in prayer and in meditation on His Word, we are engaged in spiritual battle. The Word of God is as food to the Christian soldier (Matthew 4:4); he dare not go a day without feasting on it. Prayer is like fresh air to the weary warrior; he dare not go a moment without it (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Studying God's Word and prayer are corporate as well as solitary activities. However, spending time alone with God cannot be neglected if we are to be imitators of Christ (Luke 5:16; 6:12; Mark 1:35; Matthew 14:23).
Jesus often withdrew alone to pray and spend time with the Father (John 6:15; Matthew 14:13). Before His crucifixion, Jesus separated Himself from the disciples in the Garden at the Mount of Olives to be alone with the Father (See Luke 22:39–46). Jesus also told us that we should spend time in prayer alone with God. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus instructed, "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).
We see many others in the Bible spend time alone with God as well. Moses met with God alone at the burning bush (Exodus 3) and on Mt. Sinai. Jacob was alone when God wrestled with him (Genesis 32:22–32). Zechariah was alone with God when he learned he would be the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–20). Elijah was alone when God appeared to him (1 Kings 19). David spent much time alone with God, as evidenced by many of the Psalms he wrote.
Though spending time in worship, Bible study, and prayer with other Christians is important, time alone with God is critical to our relationship with Him. We spend time with God because it is a great pleasure (Psalm 1:2; 16:11). It is part of the abundant life Jesus came to bring (John 10:10).
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