Time Alone With God: The Proven Benefits

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Get Out of Your Head" by Jennie Allen. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Why is it important to spend time alone with God? What are the key benefits?

Silent communion with God gives you a chance to clear your mind, consider what’s really important in your life, and practice gratitude. With busy schedules and crammed calendars, it’s easy to forget the importance of time alone with God, but it should remain a priority.

Here are some good reasons you should prioritize time alone with God.

Spending Time Alone With God

The truth that explodes distractions is that God specifically built us for silent communion with Him. As in the example of Paul regaining his sight after the light of Christ had blinded him and then spending an extended time fasting in silence and solitude, stillness with God enables you to see reality as it truly is. 

Scriptural Support

You can find scriptural support for both the importance of stillness and your ability to practice it in various passages, including James 4:8 (“Draw near to God…”), Galatians 5 (flesh vs. spirit), Psalm 46:10 (“Be still and know that I am God”), Psalm 8:10 (“Better one day in your courts…”), and Matthew 11:30 (“Come to me…and I will give you rest”).

The only way you can consistently bear Paul’s “fruit of the spirit” (joy, kindness, peace, patience, self-control, and so on) instead of manifesting it only intermittently because of toxic thought spirals is to consistently “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). And the only way you can do this is by embracing and practicing stillness with God.

Scientific Support

There’s also scientific support for time alone with God. Neurological and psychological studies have discovered many benefits that come from quiet meditation and focused attention. These include:

  • Increased relaxation brainwaves and decreased anxiety and depression
  • A younger, better-preserved brain
  • Better focus, with fewer wandering thoughts

The neurological and psychological benefits for a Christian manifest as a shift in perspective toward God’s point of view. You can see these in the paired items below. Notice that they’re all mutually exclusive. You can’t focus on both sides at once, so shifting to one automatically rules out the other.

  • Faith over fear
  • Truth over doubt
  • Trust over the need to control
  • Gratitude over comparison with others
  • Natural focus on God instead of multiple worldly anxieties

The way you defeat your enemy of distraction is by learning to prioritize time alone with God deliberately. Remember the master interrupting thought: “I have a choice.” You can choose to value time alone with God.

Time Alone With God: The Proven Benefits

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Here's what you'll find in our full Get Out of Your Head summary :

  • Satan’s master plan for poisoning your mind with toxic thoughts
  • How to replace ungodly lies with scriptural truths
  • How to “put on the mind of Christ” and fulfill God’s plan for you

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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