An excerpt from the Simple/House Church Revolution book:
Solitude and Listening
If I were to point to one great need for us, as God’s people, who desire to experience a deeper intimacy with God, it would be the need for more solitude out of which comes a more available listening heart. Henri Nouwen speaks to this:
Solitude is being with God and God alone. Is there any space for that in your life?
Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It's important because it's the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you "my beloved daughter," "my beloved son," "my beloved child." To pray is to let that voice speak to the center of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being...
Solitude is where spiritual ministry begins. That's where Jesus listened to God. That's where we listen to God.