Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Intro to Solitude and Stillness

“Our restoration begins as we move into our rest in Christ finished work, and live out of our wholeness in Him.”
~Bob Holmes

Do you have a sacred place?

I have a place in the mountains where we go, where I can sit for hours on end, and it never gets old. It feels like I’m walking and breathing in the winds of eternity as they rustle through the trees, alive and quickening my whole being. It’s an electric and invigorating field of wonder, under a huge white pine, beside a singing river filled with trout. On a spring evening, the ancient hemlock trees are filled with fireflies, as we bask around a crackling fire. It’s magical.

Solitude is not about being lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd. Solitude is about getting by yourself with no distractions. It’s being unplugged with no cell phone, agenda’s, or screens.

Your Secret Retreat

Jesus said, “when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Is Jesus talking about a literal ‘inner room’? No. This is spiritual language. Jesus is directing us to enter our inner being and shut the door on the world. There in the stillness, we begin to pray.

Prayer begins with words, but to denote the deeper meaning of the word prayer, communion with God, spirit to spirit, the Desert Father’s and Mother’s developed the word contemplation to denote prayer’s deeper meaning.

How To Begin

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

It’s not about the words. It’s about your presence.


After this manner pray. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This beginning helps us to collect ourselves and to remove the one block to entering God’s presence, unforgiveness. As we forgive, we can fully move into deep prayer, communion and contemplation with the Father.

I submit to you that this is the opening of our prayer time, not the busy reading of Scripture, or devotionals, not the flurry of words, but of a heart poised toward God in the stillness of eternity as a holy hush sweeps over you.

This is contemplative prayer this is why we set the stage in solitude and stillness.

Picture: Scotland’s Heritage Parks

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