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Bible Study: Jesus’ example of silence and solitude

NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passages: Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:32-37

Discussion Questions:

  • When do you crave silence and solitude? Why? When do you want some noise? Why?
  • Do you think silence and solitude are essential spiritual disciplines or voluntary “add-ons”? Explain your reasoning.
  • Reflecting on the past few weeks, what in your life suggests you have a need for silence and solitude?

Food for thought:

What do parents of young children, receptionists and customer service representatives in busy offices, and heavy equipment operators have in common? An appreciation for the truth of the old adage, “Silence is golden.” When the kids go to bed, the phones shut down or the shift ends, the quiet can be invaluable in restoring a sense of balance and perspective to one’s life.

The same is true for Christians, those who seek to follow Jesus with their lives. The “noise” of the world can be almost deafening. And if we allow it to be, it can be our constant companion, always speaking to us through our televisions, computers, news feeds, alerts and so forth. And that’s not to mention the real live people we encounter and deal with. It’s enough to bring instability and uncertainty to our lives. No wonder seminary professor and dean Donald S. Whitney identifies “silence and solitude” as a needed discipline in his book, “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.”

Some people see silence and solitude as something to avoid. Yet Jesus made such times a routine part of His life. After a busy, and we might presume long, night of healing the sick, Jesus arose “very early in the morning, while it was still dark” and “made his way to a deserted place” where He prayed (Mark 1:35). He made it imperative to find, or more precisely to make, time to be alone with the Father, apart from the noise of the world and demands on His time.

As followers of Jesus, He has set for us the example of times of silence and solitude to commune with the Father. That Jesus practiced being alone with the Father provides adequate rationale for us to follow in His steps. But imitating Jesus is not the only reason to engage in silence and solitude. In this MasterWork session, Whitney identifies eight additional reasons for practicing the spiritual disciple of silence and solitude, plus five practical suggestions for how to do so.


MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at lifeway.com/masterwork.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by Lifeway can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at Lifeway Christian Resources.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources