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Alone with your own thoughts

A study at the U.Va showed that many women, and the overwhelming majority of men, prefer to give themselves painful electric shocks rather than be alone with their thoughts for 10 minutes. Hence we have elevator music, radios in cars, and ever present cell phones. The Pharisees probably knew the Old Testament better than you or I do. But they did not know God. It is either boring or terrifying to be alone with our thoughts when we are in that catagory. And when we do know him and do not love or obey him, as was the situation with me for several years, it is still very unpleasant to be alone with our thoughts in silence. So we can be certain that the Christian backslidden has misery inside, even when on the outside all is well, as it was with me to the casual onlooker.

So when we do not walk with the risen Jesus Christ, silence is very uncomfortable, and we will usually fill in our time with shallow amusements or lifestyles that bring us nowhere. But God is real, eternally in 3 persons, and Jesus calls for each of us to repent of our sins and to follow him as God and as Lord of our lives, in holiness. Partly that means to spend time alone with God in prayer quietly, listening for whatever God wants to tell us. We are to pray for brokenness ( to quit depending on our own abilities and charms and experience), repentance (asking God for forgiveness for the times we have done that), and walking in the light( in fellowship with the Triune God with attitudes and thoughts and plans from him).

A good prayer for each person to pray is from King David in the psalms, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Then I hope we reflect on whether our heart really is clean in his sight or not. When we do that sincerely, we will walk in close fellowship with God. Now to be open and transparent, I do not often sit down and pray for 10 minutes at a time. I am much more likely to read the Bible and to pray God help me to understand and to apply what I read. Prayer uninformed by the Bible is trivial at best and demonic at worst. But when we saturate ourselves with the Bible and know the God of the Bible, we touch the infinite mind of God. Then even if we are placed in solitary confinement for many years, we are never truly alone with our thoughts, but God is with us to encourage us and to make all things work together for our good.

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