Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated, and spiritually exhausted, I always ask myself this question: how much undivided, unplugged time have you been spending with the Lord lately? In this day and age, the distractions are infinite. During our prayer and study time, our phone will ding with a new email or text. The TV will be on in the background and our focus will switch on and off to that. We have a thousand things on our mind that sometimes overload us and our focus on God is clouded. Without removing distractions to really spend quality time in the presence of the Lord, our spirits become weak and famished. Much like with food, if we eat while distracted and just take a few bites, we will not be nourished or satisfied. If we sit down to eat a whole meal, we are nourished.
Jesus prioritized getting away to pray. After getting baptized, he spent forty days in the Judean desert fasting and praying and though He became weak in the flesh, He was strong in spirit and defeated every temptation of Satan. Matthew 14:23 tells us that after preaching to the five thousand and the miracle of the loaves and fish, He stepped away from everything to pray. “After sending them home, He went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone.” Before teaching the disciples how to pray, He’d just come back from His uninterrupted prayer time, “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray…’” (Luke 11:1).
Prioritizing not just prayer, but uninterrupted, unplugged, undivided prayer is crucial to our spiritual well-begin and our relationship with the Lord and our ability to listen to Him. I urge you today to disconnect, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. Get into a rhythm of setting aside time for the Lord. No phones, no TVs. Train your spirit to meditate on Him. David prayed in Psalm 86:11, “Lord give me an undivided heart…”. Paul wrote: “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 10:5). The psalmists spoke so often about being still in the Lord and quieting their hearts and meditating on the Lord. These things are repeated in the Bible and modeled by Jesus Himself. The Lord knows we desperately need this time with Him in order to thrive spiritually. We cannot pour into others if our spiritual cup is empty. We cannot produce fruit if we are not abiding in Him.
I challenge you today to set aside some time to turn off the TV, turn off your phone, and meditate on His word. Spend some time alone with the Lord. Give Him your undivided attention. The spiritual nourishment you gain from this will be eternal. The more often you do it, the easier it will get to tune out all the noise and focus solely on Him. You’ll end the time feeling renewed and refreshed. AW Tozer said, “If a man wants to be used by God, he cannot spend all of his time with people.”