Lots of people tell me that they pray on their way to work. They talk of praising God and lifting up their prayer requests as they drive through traffic. I think this is good. However, I don't think it will substitute for the lonely place.
I set up a prayer room in one of the churches I served. I asked the deacons to be the first to take an hour slot for prayer. Some refused to do so. They said they didn't know what they would say for an hour. They did not know the value of the lonely place.
I am in the church building early as I write this blog. There is no one else here. After finishing this blog I will go into the sanctuary and communicate with God. I say "communicate" because I don't do all the talking. He has some things to say to me. I must hear them. I never get this level of communication when I pray on my way to work. (I ride a bicycle so I have some real time to pray and think.) I do not have this depth of knowing Him when I do Bible study. It is in the lonely place that I "hear" God more clearly than any other place. It is in the lonely place that I know it is Him.
Jesus, Himself needed the lonely place. He went out to talk with His Father early in the morning. There were people looking for Him, yet He knew this was more important. He needed to "communicate." I am sure that He prayed at other times. His disciples heard Him pray or they would not have asked Him to teach them to pray. His personal depth of prayer as one who knows the Father amazed them. Yet, Jesus also went to the lonely place. Would He have done so if His praying as He went about His business sufficed?
I encourage you to pray on your way to work and as you go about your business. I also encourage you to go to the lonely place.
I know God has something more to tell you. Will you go?