As an activist (rather than a contemplative, find more here) I find taking time out for silence and solitude hard to do. For example, I went on a surf trip by myself one holiday. 36 hours into it I was stressed out and needing proper human contact, so I drove for 30 min to get phone reception and call my friends.
All Christians need regular time to get away and spend time with Jesus. In the gospels we often see Jesus withdrawing to a desolate place to spend time with the father, praying and seeking wisdom (Lk 5:15). Often this come before major decisions (e.g. Choosing the 12 disciples, before the Cross in Gethsemane).
We should be strategic about it, turn our phones off, turn the iPod off and spend time reading the bible and praying. Pray for all things, but specifically this time is useful when making big decisions, such as major life decisions (marriage, residence, work, church), and ministry (new opportunities, staff, volunteers, direction).
To help you, find a place that you wont get distracted (sometimes I try this when surfing, it doesn’t work well), maybe you might find prayer walking useful.
For myself, I need to work out a time to do this for at least 2 hours per week, 1 day per month, 3 weekends (2-3 days) per year and 1 week per year. The week might send me mad, but perhaps thats what is needed.
This is post four of ten in a series called ‘10 things I wish I knew about ministry when I was 25‘ (#1, #2, #3)