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SOLITUDE AND SILENCE DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING

Finding renewal in time alone with him

It may sound ironic to recommend extended times of solitude and silence during a period of isolation. But it is powerful. Whether you live by yourself and are burdened with loneliness, or you live in a full, bustling house that feels like there is never an escape from the mayhem around you, this practice can rescue you.


Taking regular times away from home for silence in a solitary place is a great way to give God space to transform you and make radical changes to your life. It can, however, be difficult when you can’t leave your own house. The solution? Solitude and silence at home! Carve out a special place in your house for extended, blocked time alone with God. 


Ideas for how to do it:

  • Schedule a time for yourself and God alone. Block and protect this time as you would any other important meeting.

  • Let the people you live with know about your plans and ask them to help you make this happen by giving you completely undisturbed time. If possible, consider trading times with your spouse if one of you needs to be available for the kids.

  • What frequency and schedule would you like to try? Perhaps once a week for two, four, or even eight hours? At first this may seem like an enormous sacrifice, but you might just find that you end up looking forward to it more than you had imagined!

  • Pick a special place and set it up just the way you want it so that it really encourages the focused time you want to spend with God. It is great if you can visit a bathroom without having to interact with others. If you will be there during meal or snack times, consider having food with you that you don’t need to leave your special place to get.

  • Turn your phone onto do not disturb mode.


Ideas for what to do:

You may be seasoned and experienced at silence and solitude and feel ready to jump right in. But if you are new to it, consider reading about Preparing for the Journey. If you are looking for suggestions, here are a few, but the options are more abundant than I can imagine.


You may have issues that have been weighing on you in recent days that you want to explore with God. Prayerful journaling or walking prayer can be great for this in addition to the use of the deep dive practices listed above. Whether you approach this time with the structure of specific practices, or the open spontaneity of following God’s leading, it is wonderful to know that there are many things you can do, but nothing you have to do. All you really need is you and God.

Want to learn more about solitude and silence?  Check out the chapter called "Solitude" in Richard Foster's classic book, Celebration of Discipline.