Friday, May 27

Prayer retreat

For the last five or six Memorial Day weekends, the women's ministry, at my church, has hosted a one night/two day prayer retreat. It is located at a private home that sits right on the ocean (!) and is about 50 minutes away. Being that it is at someone's house, the attendance has to be kept fairly small, approximately 25 ladies.

This year marks the third year I will be attending.

Every year tends to go the same way for me. About a month or so in advance, I'm really looking forward to it. Time alone to pray, on the ocean front, silence, fellowship, and worship....sign me up, baby! But then days before, even up to the day of, I suddenly don't want to go. I'm tired...I want to stay home...I really don't want to be around 25 other ladies, even for one night and two days. But because I paid and said I'd go (and because my sister has overseen last year's and this year's retreat and would give me grief for backing out), I go.

Then somewhere during the time, God meets me there and I meet God there.
And the weekend is just what I need.

For you who have never heard of a prayer retreat, here's what my church does:
It goes from Friday dinner to Saturday dinner. On Friday, there is a devotional to prepare the ladies for the weekend and a time of singing praises to God. On Saturday, there is usually a devotional of sorts in the morning and then the afternoon is ours. There are several stations that you can work through, if you choose, that deal with various topics like adoration, identity in God, who God is, forgiveness, hindrances, working through the Lord's prayer, etc. The entire afternoon is a time of silence. If you want to sit on the beach the entire afternoon and forget the stations, no's your time to spend with God. They also encourage fasting, if you desire to do so...although it's not required. The fast and the silence is broken before dinner when we have a time of communion and sharing. Then after dinner, we all go home to enjoy the rest of the weekend as we wish.

Last year, I went really wanting to hear from God in regards to the areas of future ministry/career and my future husband. It occurs to me that not too much has changed since last year, although I have personally, a bit. I would love to hear from God again in those areas of my life but am open to hearing whatever He has to share. Even if I just spend the weekend praising God for who He is, it will be a good time. just typing this has made me once again excited to go. Too often we allow life to just carry us down the road. We try to keep God the focus of who are we and what we're doing...sometimes we succeed and other times we don't. It's a learning process. But this weekend is a chance to step away from the crazy lives we lead and to expectantly be with God. I hope that when I move away from my church, that I will continue this yearly practice, either for myself or including others, because I need it. We all need it!

Have a good weekend, my friends!

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