|Today’s reading is drawn from Matthew 17:8.
“Left alone!” What different emotions these words bring to mind for each of us! To some they mean loneliness and grief, but to others they may mean rest and quiet. To be left alone without God would be too horrible for words, while being left alone with him is a taste of heaven! And if his followers spent more time alone with him, we would have spiritual giants again.
Our Master set an example for us. Remember how often he went to be alone with God? And there was a powerful purpose behind his command, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray” (Matthew 6:6 [emphasis added]).
The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. Jacob was alone with God when he became a prince (see Genesis 32:28) … Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him (see Joshua 1:1). Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel (see Judges 6:11; 11:29). Moses was by himself at the burning bush (see Exodus 3:1–5). Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel of God came to him (see Acts 10:1–4). No one was with Peter on the housetop when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles (see Acts 10:9–28). John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (see Luke 1:80), and John the Beloved was alone on the island of Patmos when he was the closest to God (see Revelation 1:9).
Earnestly desire to get alone with God. If we neglect to do so, we not only rob ourselves of a blessing but rob others as well, since we will have no blessing to pass on to them. It may mean that we do less outward, visible work, but the work we do will have more depth and power. Another wonderful result will be that people will see “no one except Jesus” (Matthew 17:8) in our lives.
The impact of being alone with God in prayer cannot be overemphasized