INSPIRATION FOR YOU
8 Ways to Enjoy a Prayer Retreat with God
- Read a short book from the Bible-for example, Mark, Ephesians, Philippians or 1 John. Talk to the Lord about what you are reading. Hear His heart through this portion of Scripture.
- Walk with God. Talk to Him about creation. Try to imagine what delights Him about what He has made-or better yet, ask Him.
- Pray some of the great prayers of all time. You might start with the prayers of the Bible-Psalms, Daniel's prayer, Jehosophat's prayer or others. Use other classic books on prayer and make them your own. Ask God to purify, strengthen, heal and help you.
- Ask the Lord to refresh you both spiritually and physically. Prayerfully select Scripture. Sit comfortably and meditate on the verses, letting each word or phrase soak in. Ask God's Spirit to let you see and experience all He has for you from these Scriptures. After you've enjoyed time pondering, talk to the Lord about what He has shown you.
- Bring a specific burden to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom, comfort, perspective, direction, correction or help with it. Tell Him exactly how you feel, even if-perhaps especially if-you feel angry, discouraged, confused or skeptical. Invite Him to speak to you about your concern. It may aid the conversation if you write down both your prayer to God and what you believe He is saying to you about it. Talk to God as you would a friend or family member. Take time with this. Heart-to-heart conversations are not to be hurried.
- Read a short portion of a devotional classic on prayer or the Christian life. Steps to Christ by Ellen White, writings by Andrew Murray or A. W. Tozer are good places to start. Use what you read as a springboard for prayer.
- Spend time in intercession for those for whom you have committed to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to pray for them. This may lead you to intercede for their spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, or relational lives. Linger over the things God shows you to pray about that seem especially significant.
- Ask God what He would like to talk to you about, and then just listen. Let Him pick the topic. Write down what you believe He is saying so you can reflect on it and respond immediately and in the future.
Adapted from Pray, January/February, 2007.
Joy Butler, former SPD coordinator of Prayer Ministries and Women's Ministries
6 Starters for a Prayer Group
- Seek out other Christians and ask if they will pray with you on a regular basis.
- Don't be discouraged if you are finding it difficult to invite others to join you,. Pray that God will lead you to someone.
- Pray that your group will grow.
- Choose a suitable meeting place. For example, meet in each other's home; meet outside in a park; find a spare room in the office during your lunch hour.
- Make a commitment to meet at a certain time once a week, fortnightly, monthly, or whatever suits you.
- Set aside a specific time period - most groups are comfortable with one hour.
If you wish to bring your prayer group to the attention of others, begin to advertise as soon as possible. A notice could be placed in church or school newsletters and bulletins, or in community noticeboards. It will attract other Christians to your group, and it will let your church and/or community know that you are praying for them.