“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
There are many reasons to make time to take a retreat from the normal routines of life. Many people choose such times to fast and pray; however, there are also times when fasting is not indicated for our time with God. Here are a few examples:
In times of exhaustion. When Elijah burned out from ministry he retreated to the desert to be alone with God. There, God miraculously provided him with warm bread and fresh water (1 K. 19:4-9). The Lord delights in restoring us. He does this spiritually, but also physically.
When Jesus invites you to deeper intimacy. Revelation 3:20 paints a poignant picture of a Friend knocking on the door of His loved one’s heart. Jesus longs for us invite Him into our deepest confidence to eat with us and have us eat with Him. Consider taking bread and grape juice or wine along on your prayer retreat to make the experience of this fellowship more meaningful.
In times of thanksgiving and celebration. The Hebrew feast days were times set apart for corporate prayer, worship, thanksgiving, and celebration of God’s faithfulness (e.g. The Feast of Tabernacles, Pentecost, Passover and Purim). Similarly, there are times when we will want to retreat with the Lord to reflect on and celebrate His goodness. These are not times for deprivation.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 28, Personal Prayer Retreats by Cynthia Bezek). Click on the title for more information about this resource.
Lord, Your Word says that there are times and seasons for all things. Sometimes I am so weary and depleted that I simply need to rest in You placing no expectations upon myself except to be yielded. There are other times when I desire to draw near in the intimacy of communion, and still other times when I desire to celebrate and give thanks for Your goodness and faithfulness to me! Thank You for the creativity of life in the Spirit!
Praise God as the God of truth. Thank him for replacing the facades of your life with the substantive realities of his truth. Confess any time you’ve rejected difficult aspects of that truth for the appealing glitter of Satan’s lies. Commit yourself to honesty with God, other people, and yourself. Ask God to lead you into fuller and fuller application of his truth to your lifestyle.
Pray that such truth-oriented living will break through the lies the Deceiver has used with unsaved neighbors. Ask God to speak his truth in love to one of them through you today.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. Click on the title for more information on this resource.