Christian Retreat

Christian Retreat ~ At Home – Episode 213

It is time to fill up your spiritual tank with a Christian retreat. No matter what time of the year a refilling is good and that begins with a good Bible Study, or you, the Holy Spirit, and a pad and paper. Have you ever tried to listen to God and then had a sense of something you wanted to write down? In this way, we can communicate (in our own fallen way) with the Almighty. While it is not the same as face-to-face, we’ll have to wait for that time at the end of our lives, it is still a way to have a Christian retreat in our own homes.

– and if you missed my podcast on Renewing Your Faith you can catch it here.

Not all of us can leave to go on a weekend retreat, but if you have ever had the opportunity to go on a really good one, you know the blessings are unsurpassed. In the past, we’ve talked about spending time with God, the entire purpose or theme of this podcast, but this takes it one step further. Prayer is a communication of some sort, many times we feel it is one-sided. We talk, we listen and we hear silence. Or we look for a particular feeling, one of joy, thanksgiving, or peace. When we try to find these things and don’t we feel that we’ve failed in some way, or perhaps given up.

If you could go on a retreat what are your goals? What is it that you would want to get out of it? Is it getting closer to God? Growing in your relationship? Is it learning, listening, or perhaps making a point to rely upon the Lord? Or, is it to rest in the Lord, to become infilled and empowered by the Holy Spirit?

Recently I read something that really caused me to analyze my own relationship with the Lord. It said that if we are short-tempered, finding ourselves quickly annoyed, or unable to deal with the detours of life, we need to look at our relationship with the Lord. The people who are on track, who have a good relationship with God, and who feel that they spend time in meaningful prayer, learning, sharing their faith, and giving of themselves in service to others are the ones that can handle most things calmly.

Wow, that was eye-opening. In fact, I had just shared with my husband shortly before that the opposite. I asked him why I was unable to deal with all of the minor issues, many of them computer related that normally didn’t cause me to become upset. In the space of two weeks, my husband’s website was hacked, junk emails were created and sent from his account, and we had to move our server to a more secure one including this podcast network and the other one I owned, and website. Not only that, but the accounting software my husband’s business uses was giving me issues! And, I had no patience at all.

Sure, we all have things that happen in our lives and sometimes we handle them better than others, but this type of thing never bothered me. I was attributing my irritations to getting older! But, the Lord set me straight. If I truly believe, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my savior, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 then I have to live my life in this way. And, the best way to begin is by filling back up and renewing my relationship with God.

And, today we will discuss a customized retreat just for you!

First, if you have been on a retreat, think about some of the things you enjoyed. I’m going to share my list with you, be sure to add to this or subtract things that don’t interest you. You may need to tweak or adjust it to fit your schedule.

My favorite aspects of the retreat are the following?

  1. Quiet.
  2. Time for prayer.
  3. Praise and Worship.
  4. Solitude.
  5. Time for confession.

Retreats usually contain some type of guest speaker who gets us started on the journey of turning our hearts toward God. This may be several talks or one key talk. I spent the weekend at a retreat that started with a keynote on a Friday evening, then the silent part of the retreat. We were asked to go back to our rooms, and if we had a roommate to still remain silent. We could break our silence the next day at breakfast. The focus was on giving our thoughts to God and reading, praying or spending time in that quiet thinking about what the speaker said that was impactful but more importantly to train our busy minds to slow down. When you take communication out of the equation and are forced into quiet it is amazing. It allows you a chance to breathe and relax.

When you are in the car, can you just drive in silence? If the answer is always no, maybe it is time to begin your car trip with prayer. I plan to do another podcast on this very topic at some point soon. I use my car trips always the very beginning of one to pray. Once I am finished with my prayers, then I can flip on the radio or podcasts. But first I must have time with God.

The point of a retreat is relationship and communication only with the Lord. It can be a time of prayer and petition for yourself, wait another time to pray for others, unless you are really led to do it during this time.

So, your dream retreat what would it look like? Here is a thumbnail outline to start you off.

  1.  First, ask the Lord to fill you to overflowing with His love joy, and peace or whatever the goals are for your retreat.
  2. Find a quiet place. Somewhere you will not be interrupted.
  3. Have a journal, a pen, your Bible, and something to drink.
  4.  Praise God – either in word or song. If you can sing, do it! Have a favorite playlist? Play it.
  5. Wait until you feel the joy or the sense of peace and allow that to fill you in the quiet. Remain in this way as long as you’d like or time permits.
  6. Write down any thoughts or words. Don’t be in a hurry with this. Close your eyes and just wait upon the Lord.
  7. Read scripture if you are led to a particular scripture. Again, write down the words that touch you, and in the quiet and listen. Mediate on what they mean in your life.
  8. Ask the Lord, in prayer to strengthen your faith (or whatever it is you want to ask the Lord).
  9. Write down any thoughts or goals you want for this day or the future. Make these goals reachable!
  10. Praise God and thank Him for this time with Him.

Create your own retreat and you will be blessed.

 

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