I have been thinking a lot about withdrawal lately. This is not the kind of withdrawal you think it is. It is not being weaned off opiates or alcohol or anything else. Rather, it is about a personal withdrawal – just as Jesus withdrew. He knew the importance of solitude – of time to be alone to pray. Too often, in this busy world, we do not find time alone to pray. We forget how important it is. In our ministering to others, we forget to minister to ourselves. Today, whenever you read this, I invite you to take some time to be alone. I invite you to read this prayer, line by line. Don’t rush it. Be still. Be still and know that I am God.

During times of solitude, Lord,

I wait

And I listen

I speak

And I wait to hear your voice

Sometimes I need to wait

For a long time

But the more often

I come to you

In solitude

The more likely I am

To hear your voice

So today

I will carve out

A time of solitude

So that I can wait

And hear your voice


Katherine Burgess was one of the contributors to A Child Laughs: Prayers of Justice and Hope. She also co-wrote a book of daily prayers with Neal Mathers. She is a second-career minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and serves two congregations in Québec. She has learned the importance of solitude and believes that we can all benefit from a little more of it.

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