Going on a Prayer Retreat

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 spirituality. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of manmade traditions and practices. Read more in his blog, books, and personal weekly email updates.

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