Day 3 – A Prayer Retreat- Part Two

{So glad you are here reading my 31 Days series!  I’m sharing more about experiencing my first prayer retreat — a fine gift for someone writing a month long series on waiting.}

 

I woke up on Saturday to the cool breeze through the cabin window and the light of the sunrise.  We had to be in bed the night before by eleven p.m. -somewhat early for this night owl, I’ll admit –  so we could meet in the common room for worship and devotions by 8am.

Usually waiting on the Lord, listening for His voice in solitude, silence & prayer can be, well, for me–sometimes painful.  At least its usually not as tranquil and inviting as it was this past weekend.  This prayer retreat weekend was a 24 hour period where the Lord most definitely met me right where I was–and met me in a most glorious peaceful and comforting manner.  

Many times God calls for our active waiting to be something to press through.  Today however, I’m here to tell you about those precious-gems-of-days that active waiting is suprisingly a treasure, a lovingly drenched God-gift that you can only praise and thank Him for as much as your breath and mind will allow.

After a breakfast of yogurt and a homemade scone, along with worship songs, and a short testimony of the power of prayer, I set out for my morning hours alone with the Lord.  The air had a brisk and delightful chill that we here in Texas have been yearning for every day of our drought filled summer.  I set out with my yoga mat, journal, Bible and a joyful spirit for good measure.

I came upon a beautiful clearing with a breathtaking view of the valley.

The sounds of the rushing creek pictured above were more glorious than music. I had been listening to worship music on my prayer walk, but upon stumbling on such a scenic view, I soon turned everything off to listen to the music of God’s creation.  I closed my eyes, lifted my prayers to the Lord, and felt the sun warm my face.   I then began to study the Word of God.  I journaled my thoughts, joys and prayers as fast as my fingers could write.

When I pray, therefore, I shouldn’t ask ‘God give me a sign’, but rather, ‘God, give me sight’, because this is what I really seek.
–Mark. E. Thibodeaux, The Armchair Mystic
The word of God leaped off of the page, as I continued worship and sing silently in my thoughts.   I wanted to stop and justask God specific things about my life, pour out my questions, and beg for answers ; but I sensed the Lord letting me know my active waiting task that morning was to bask in the lavishness of His Love and Grace, and the perfect Peace He alone gives to those that seek Him.
The delightful gift of multiple references to the same Scripture started to come to surface in my readings;  first in Scripture, then in the devotional books I brought along.
I will not forget you! 
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
–Isaiah 49:16

The time with the Lord was indeed so sweet, and as I sat rocking  in the beautiful chairs on our deck overlooking the breathtaking view, I listened to songs of worship, and read words of some of my favorite spiritual teachers, along with other books recommendations from my new retreat friends.  

Should you ever plan your own prayer retreat, might I recommend some delightful resources to enrich your time?  

Of course a Bible, journal and a seeking heart are essential, but perhaps one of the sources below will help you in your journey?

                     Revelation Song by Kari Jobe
                     The Real Jesus by downhere
                   One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
 
Most moments of Active Waiting aren’t as loving and grace filled as the ones I experienced in my first prayer retreat, I’m the first to admit.  I’m so grateful God saw fit to give me such a gift at the beginning of my month long journey of waiting.  
I will certainly cherish the experience I had and thank the Lord for the gift of His presence–through nature, through solitude and silent prayer, through the community of new friends who are sisters in Christ, and through His Word.
I will extol the Lord at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34: 1-2

speak your mind, share your heart