Have you ever wondered how you could possibly spend an entire day in prayer? This difficulty is easily addressed, however, when we consider that our relating to God takes many forms. During a full day of prayer (plus the overnight hours, if possible), we have the luxury to linger with God and to try new forms of expression. There are many options for a retreat spot. Look for a place that’s quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions. The fewer amenities (phone, television, Internet) the better.
Here are some ideas that many people enjoy trying on prayer retreats. There are far more here than you could possibly do during one day or even two. So ask the Holy Spirit to help you pick from this list and give you other ideas of how to spend your time together:
- Prayerfully and meditatively read a short book from the Bible such as Ephesians, Philippians, James, or 1 John.
- Play a worship CD and sing to God.
- Take a walk with God and talk to Him about what you see.
- Pray some of the great prayers of all time—start with Psalms or some of the prayers of the Apostle Paul.
- Ask the Lord to refresh you spiritually and physically. Meditate on these Scriptures: Ps. 23:2-3, 62:1-5, 91:1; Prov. 11:25; Isa. 30:15 Mt. 11:28-29; Acts. 3:19; Heb. 4:1-11.
- Dialogue with the Lord about a specific burden. Ask Him for comfort, perspective, direction, correction or help with it. Listen to His responses.
- Read a short portion of a devotional classic on prayer and talk to the Lord about it.
- With the Holy Spirit’s help, spend time in extended intercession for those for whom you have committed to pray.
- Ask God what He would like to say regarding your life, ministry, relationships, and so on. Then listen carefully.
How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul longs to be in Your courts. My heart and soul cry out for You, the Living God! Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my god than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84) Father, draw me close and give me a deep desire to spend time in Your presence for an entire day! Show me the joy of unplugging from all of the entanglements of my life and being only with You! Hear my prayer, O Lord, God Almighty!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 28, Personal Prayer Retreats by Cynthia Bezek). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the one to whom you have given your entire life. Thank him for desiring to be Lord of everything that you have and are, and for asking nothing less. Confess those parts of your life that you still hold back from God’s complete authority. Commit yourself to laying these areas before God throughout the day, looking for his help in surrendering them completely. Ask God to help you be completely devoted to him and his will (Col. 3:17).
Ask that your church’s worship be made uplifting not only by music and preaching but also by the sacrificial lives of members who have served Christ during the week (Rom. 12:1).