Q: The missing piece in many of our lives?
A: Chunks of time spent alone with God. Intentional prayer.
Many of us have some moments in the mornings for quiet time, a bit of time in the evening, or grab a few minutes in the afternoon when the house is quiet. (SPECIAL offer at the end of this article!)
But chunks of time? Not so much.
When are your longest conversations with God?
In the car? The shower? Or, maybe drifting off to sleep at night (did I say “Amen”…?). We do not set aside much time to truly be alone with the Lord like we do with other activities. We schedule a weekly hour for Pilates, Zumba or Spin class. We sit while children take a piano lesson or have baseball practice. Somehow, though, time with the Lord does not make it to the level of The Calendar.
Move Prayer Out of the Routine
The bulk of our prayer time tends to be amidst the tasks of life. We’re driving to work anyway. We’re off to bed anyway. We have to shower anyway. All good times to pray… however, these are not time set aside. Instead, we add God to our routine.
Consider what it would be like to set aside chunks of time (one or more hours), to read Scripture, meditate, journal and pray.
The date, time, cost and place of your retreat depends on you. It will fit your schedule and your lifestyle because you design it.
Option 1: Choose two or three late nights in a row. Work out details with your family. Put the children to bed. Find a quiet corner. Spread out your Bible, journal, and dig in!
Option 2: Chunk times over the weekend. Late Saturday night with the Lord studying a particular topic. Worship on Sunday morning with a special ear toward hearing how the Lord continues to inform your topic. Then conclude with Sunday afternoon or evening as you ponder ways to implement what the Lord taught.
Option 3: Take a day off from work. Choose your Bible study materials. Choose a location with minimal distractions. Pack a lunch. Go immerse yourself in the Lord’s word and prayer.
Option 4: Your turn! If you have done a personal retreat, what model did you use?
I’ve designed a prayer retreat workbook (free) for your time with the Lord. Soul Motive to Pray will walk you into deeper conversations with God. The workbook is filled with biblical references and solid teaching. The engaging questions and scripture at the end of each chapter will enrich your exploration of prayer.
The workbook guides you step-by-step to increase your comfort with prayer. It concludes with an exercise to assist you to develop an ongoing plan to nurture your prayer life after the retreat.
Personal Retreat Checklist
___ Decide the amount of time chunks
___ Put it on your calendar
___ Choose your location
___ Download Soul Motive to Pray
___ Gather supplies (Bible, journal, pen, workbook)
___ Immerse in the Lord
___ Record insights in your journal
___ Follow up with yourself one week later
___ Repeat (next month, quarter…)
The Soul Motive to Pray workbook is a free and it’s easy to download. It is also published on Amazon if you want it in a book format. I’ve heard back from readers how the book enhanced their understanding of prayer and guided them in beautiful times with God.
Let me know about your personal retreat. I’d love to hear your thoughts and what worked for your schedule!