Lesson 13 of 13 in our “Dear God” Series @ ordinaryfaith.net.

It’s a hollow emptiness, a feeling of isolation and disconnection. And we don’t even have to be by ourselves to experience it. We can feel lonely in a relationship, in a crowded room, even among friends.

The Hebrew word translated “desolate” or “lonely” in the Old Testament means “one alone, only; one who is solitary, forsaken, wretched.” There is no deeper sadness that ever comes over the mind than the idea that we are alone in the world, that we do not have a friend, that no one cares for us, that no one is concerned about anything that might happen to us, that no one would care if we were to die or shed a tear over our grave.

No one felt loneliness more keenly than David. In a series of earnest, heartfelt appeals to God, David cried out in his loneliness and despair. His own son had risen up against him; the men of Israel went after him; and he was forced to flee from the city and leave his home and family. Lonely and afflicted (Psalm 25:16), his only recourse was to turn to God and plead for mercy and God’s intervention (Psalm 25:21) because his only hope was in God.

Psalm 25 16 ESV Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Ps 25:1 ESV To you, O Lord, I will lift up my soul.

Dear God Help me not be alone, hear my prayers

Matthew 21:13 ESV He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.

In the loneliest time of Jesus’ life, He withdrew and prayed!

Mark 1:35 ESV And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Psalm 5:3 ESV O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

Hebrews 10:19 ESV Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,

Mark 9:23-25 ESV And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

Dear God Help me hear Your voice

Hebrews 1:1-4 ESV Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. ESV

John 10:27 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 

Listening to God requires preparing your heart to hear Him.

Psalm 46:10 ESV Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 143:8 ESV Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Listening to God requires getting a picture of what God is telling you

Romans 8:26-27 ESV Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Listening to God requires a right attitude in our hearts. In order to listen to God and receive His instruction, we must want to do His will, much as Jesus did. God honors the heart that is fully surrendered to Him.

Jesus understands the full breadth of human loneliness because he himself experienced it. But he stays with us when no one else will. His love penetrates deep into our hearts so that we never feel fully alone.

Matthew 14:23 ESV After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone,

Mark 1:35 ESV Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray.

Luke 3:21 ESV When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened,

Luke 6:12 ESV In those days, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.

Luke 9:28 ESV About eight days after Jesus had said these things, He took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray.

Luke 9:29 ESV And as He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became radiantly white.