Christian Living

Going on a Prayer Retreat

Last August, I went on a 24-hour prayer retreat. I had scheduled it at the beginning of summer, picking the optimum day amongst a calendar of prior commitments and a busy work schedule.

I anticipated the day with much excitement but some trepidation, looking forward to what God would have in store for me as I sought him.

Many events would conspire to thwart my attempts to arrive at the designated place to begin my sojourn. At several times I had to fight a strong and insistent compulsion to abort my mission. Gratefully, I did not.

Even once there, it took a few hours to quite my racing mind enough to be able to seek God and listen to his gentle words.

My diligence and persistence paid off. It was a significant time of spiritual enlightenment and divine encounter. At the end of my 24 hours, I was not ready to leave and even lingered for a few more.

As I drove home, thinking of the work that awaited me there, I was already planning my next retreat. Could it be a quarterly event? I desired that to be the case, but here it is, almost a year later and another prayer retreat is yet to be planned.

In some respects, the attacks that preceded my retreat are a bit off-putting. Plus, there is a nagging fear that a second time would pale in comparison to the first. But the reality is that I failed to plan.

I let the minutia of each day, each week, and each month obscure a better and higher goal: to block out quality time to spend with God. Granted, I do this incrementally throughout each day and on a smaller scale when I fast (almost) every week, but that pales in comparison to a full day focused on God.

I want to do this again. I need to do this again, but when will I do this again?

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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