December 5, 2022
A Prayer Retreat
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5:16 NLT).
Friend to Friend
I had been in a busy season of ministry and family. I was running perilously close to empty, but I just kept going. One day my husband gently approached me.
“Suzie, you need to fill back up.”
If those who love you the most are noticing, then it’s time to take a pause.
I found a small, affordable rustic cabin not far from home. I put aside technology, ministry, and the things I normally do, and for a weekend, I was alone with God.
When I arrived home, I was renewed.
Jesus depended on prayer often.
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16 NLT).
By His example, I know that I need this too. While going away to a cabin is amazing, it’s not something I can do on a regular basis. So, I decided to take mini prayer retreats that would fill me up often. To make this happen, I needed to implement 3 things in my life:
Do you use a digital calendar? I do. Those pop-up reminders keep me on time and on track. I wanted to be just as intentional with my prayer retreat. This was separate from daily time with Him. It is a special time set apart to fill my soul. Putting it on the calendar reminds me it is just as important as everything else going on in my life.
Our mini prayer retreats can be as creative as we want them to be. One way is to go to the park, or find a bench, and sit quietly in His presence. We can rest in Him as we hear children playing. We can note His creation around us. Nature can offer a sweet mini prayer retreat. For one of my prayer retreats, I drove to a nearby lake with trails. It was quiet and serene. I hiked and soaked in God’s creation, asking God to walk with me.
Another way is to buy a sketch pad and a few paints or markers with vivid colors. It’s soothing to worship as we draw or paint. While you do, ask the Holy Spirit to help you express your needs, your gratitude, and your joy at being His daughter.
Another way to create a mini prayer retreat is to choose a local church or community center open for prayer. I found a community prayer room in my own area. It was amazing to walk into a sanctuary set up and open all day just for those who desire to talk to God.
Host a mini prayer retreat and pray with friends who also love prayer. You can sit in a coffee shop or even fold clothes, seeking God together.
Praying is not about a word count. It’s not about what you say or don’t say. It’s simply knowing that you’re thirsty and He offers living water to fill you up. You go with a heart to meet with God, and that’s more than enough. So, allow yourself to be flexible. This is not about trying to follow a checklist of what prayer should look like, but meeting with your Heavenly Father.
Friend, if you’ve found yourself feeling empty, empty, empty, God will fill you up. Whatever your mini prayer retreat looks like, He’ll meet you there and that’s powerful.
Jesus, I need You in my busy life. I love talking with You, but the truth is I sometimes put everything on the calendar but You. Thank You for the times ahead where You and I can just talk together. Thank You for filling me up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What might a prayer retreat look like for you?
Consider one mini retreat that works for your real life and put it on the calendar today. I’d love to hear what that looks like!
More from the Girlfriends
Suzie’s brand new book, Prayer Starters: Talking with God About Hard Times is not a book about prayer, but a book to help you connect with God through prayer. Each prayer starter springs from scripture, leading you to encounter Him right where you are.
Suzie is also the host of Prayer Starters, a daily prayer podcast with the KLRC podcast network. Find out more here. You can listen on your favorite podcast platform or at KLRC.com.
© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 05 December 2022.