brown bare tree under cloudy sky

, | 25 Jul 2023 | by GEM Spiritual Life


When we practice solitude, we temporarily pull away from life with others in order to give our full attention to God. Alone with God, we put aside human expectations and our desire to please others, and we experience what it means in Acts 17:28 when it says, “in him we live and move and have our being.”[1] Practicing periods of solitude enriches the time we spend with others because it allows us to bring a growing familiarity with God back to community as well as the rest of life. Like silence it is a “container discipline” providing a supportive setting which can enhance other spiritual disciplines or practices.   


Biblical references: Genesis 32:22-32; Exodus 24:12-18; Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35, 6:46; Luke 4:42, 5:16, 6:12  

For more on Solitude:  

Books: Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton  and Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen 

Article: What Happens in Solitude by Jan Johnson  


[1] Barton, Ruth Haley article on Solitude, in Scorgie, Glen G, et al, Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 762