40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 23

Today, we are on Day 23, and we continue our time focusing on the practice of Solitude.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22 if you missed them)


Last time, I mentioned how a friend helped me discern the Lord’s call to spend more time with Him without an agenda. I had gotten so overloaded that I wasn’t hearing what He was telling me, and I praise God I have friends who will listen to God for me as well.  This experience shows us the blessings we have in two necessary and complementary practices of Jesus: time with Him in solitude and silence, and time in community. We desperately need both. In the pace and distraction of the modern world, both are consistently assaulted by our enemy. We can go through most of our lives on the surface, in the superficial but urgent, the shallow but alluring things of modern life. But deep friendship with God and others is vital to both our walk with Christ and our lives themselves. We have twin epidemics of mental health challenges and loneliness in the West. It’s entirely possible, and not uncommon, to go through our weeks never quite being alone with God, but never exactly being in community either. We need both.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:6-8

Deep calls to deep, this Psalm tells us, which echoes something we already know. While we live life often on the superficial surface of things, deep down, we are drawn to the deep things our Creator has for us. We long for a deep, satisfying relationship with Him and others—to be truly known and fully accepted by those we spend our lives with. For many, it seems far too lofty an aim on this side of eternity, but we know it’s what we are created to have.

The good news, which is immeasurably better than we can imagine, is that we already have this in Jesus. The Creator of all, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving, knows you completely, inside and out, and He loves you wholly and completely still!

God is a good Father who sees each detail of your life through loving eyes of wisdom, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. He sees your stumbling with the full perspective of your entire life and all the things that contributed to each moment. He grieves with you in the pain and struggle of this fallen world. He celebrates each win and each move closer to Him. He seeks you out, no matter how far you’ve wandered, and runs to you with wide open arms. His arms are never closed to you, and He always says yes to being with you. You’ll never see disappointment on His face, only Love. He knew before you were born every struggle and misstep, every time you would be hurt, and each time you would pass the hurt to another, and each time you would try to fill the emptiness with something other than Him. He knows you, all of you, and loves you wholly and completely still! 

We’ll go into more depth on this tomorrow. For today, just hold this close to your heart. Let yourself believe it, and then let yourself experience it.

Reflection for prayer and/or journaling:

Today, sit with this knowledge that you are fully known and fully loved. How does your heart react to being fully known and fully loved? How does your mind react?

Action steps:

When you enter your time alone with God, remember this all-encompassing love for you and accept it! Spend your time with Him today just receiving the love He has for you. Whether you go for a walk in nature or sit quietly, open your heart to Him. Tell Him just what you think about this, does it seem too good to be true? Do you have any barriers to experiencing this love from Him? Have you been taught that there are qualifications or stipulations to this love?

Or have you known this love for a while now and desire an even greater revelation of how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love for you. (Eph 3:18)

I particularly love Eugene Peterson’s wording for this passage. Let’s pray it together:

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 MSG

♥ Samantha