Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence, By Ruth Haley Barton

Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Experiencing God's Transforming Presence

Transforming Resources

Expanded Edition

by Ruth Haley Barton
Foreword by Dallas Willard

Invitation to Solitude and Silence
  • Length: 166 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: October 01, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3545
  • ISBN: 9780830835454

*affiliate partner

Christianity Today Book Award

Will you accept God's invitation?

Much of our faith and practice is about words—preaching, teaching, talking with others. Yet all of these words are not enough to take us into the real presence of God where we can hear his voice. This book is an invitation to you to meet God deeply and fully outside the demands and noise of daily life. It is an invitation to solitude and silence.

The beauty of a true invitation is that we really do have a choice about embarking on this adventure. God extends the invitation, but he honors our freedom and will not push himself where he is not wanted. Instead, he waits for us to respond from the depths of our desire. Will you say yes?

In Invitation to Solitude and Silence, you'll find:

  • An expanded edition that includes a discussion guide for groups,
  • Spiritual practices to help you learn to practice silence, as an individual or in groups, and
  • Ruth Haley Barton's vital way to deeper intimacy with God and our own true selves.

"The author's own journey serves as a backdrop for a welcoming invitation to experience the spiritual restoration of solitude and silence. Her compelling invitation combines both a clear explanation of the purpose of solitude and seasoned guidance on how to practice it."

James C. Wilhoit, Ph.D., Price-LeBar Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College Graduate School

"Invitation to Solitude and Silence provides wonderful spiritual companionship on the quest for intimacy with God. Read it through to stir your appetite, then return to savor each chapter, engaging the practical steps into the silence where your soul can find rest in the Father's arms. Written in a style reminiscent of the spiritual guides of centuries past, yet current, vibrant, and alive with personal reflection and scriptural application. Ruth Barton has whispered a call to overcome the fear of solitude and follow the soul's deepest longing to experience God's presence. A passionate, transformational resource that will foster both personal spiritual growth and spiritual formation in a group setting."

William R. Cutrer, Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"I find books in the genre of the contemplative life are often written by mystics who occupy some rarified, ethereal realm in which I don't seem to live. Not so with Ruth Haley Barton's Invitation to Solitude and Silence. Ruth takes us on her journey into solitude and silence as one, like most of us, who must learn to commune with God in the muchness of life."

Greg Ogden, Author of Discipleship Essentials, and Executive Pastor of Discipleship, Christ Church of Oak Brook

"Ruth Haley Barton has gifted us with a vital way to deeper intimacy with God and our own true self in God through the neglected disciplines of solitude and silence. Along with her own honest biographical witness, she offers us a variety of concrete practices that can help the reader enter solitude and silence with greater ease and understanding of the ways God is present for us in such times, often in the face of our resistances. What she has given us can contribute significantly to a more mature and full spiritual life. She convincingly shows us the vital spiritual importance of an intentional rhythm of work and rest, solitude and community, silence and word."

Tilden Edwards, Founder and Senior Fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Bethesda, Maryland

"If you would really like to know the 'rest appropriate for the people of God' (Heb 4:9), then make the decision to leave all outcomes to God and enter the practice of solitude and silence with Ruth Barton as your guide. As you do so, call upon Jesus to be with you, and trust him for that. In a relatively short period of time you will come to know the 'rest unto your souls' promised by him who is meek and lowly of heart."

From the foreword by Dallas Willard, author of Renovation of the Heart

"I have not otherwise found a more excellent and accessible guide for those who seek, as Elijah, to know and be known by God in solitude and silence. . . . I have given this book to all of our employees and it has become an integral part of what we call '8:30 Stillness.'"

Gary A. Haugen, president of International Justice Mission


Foreword by Dallas Willard
First Kings 19:1-19
1 Beyond Words
2 Beginnings
3 Resistance
4 Dangerously Tired
5 Rest for the Body
6 Rest for the Mind
7 Rest for the Soul
8 Emptiness
9 Facing Ourselves
10 Pure Presence
11 Receiving Guidance
12 For the Sake of Others
Appendix: A Day in Solitude
Sharing Silence: A Guide for Groups


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Ruth Haley Barton

Ruth Haley Barton is founding president of the Transforming Center, a spiritual formation ministry to pastors and Christian leaders. A trained spiritual director, teacher, and retreat leader, she is the author of multiple books, including Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Sacred Rhythms, and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.