Bless you David Loveless of Discovery Church for sharing with us on …
Personal Prayer Retreat- part 1
It has continued to change me… transform me….It renews me… It provides me with answers I didn’t have… Solutions that I hadn’t thought of… reminds me of essential things I had forgotten about…I think better.. feel better… make wiser decisions… am more loving toward God.. toward people I know.. toward people I don’t know… I’m a better leader… husband.. father… pastor… friend…
What has done this? What I mentioned in my post yesterday…that a couple of times each year, I get away for several days of extended time alone with God. You may think… “well good for you but that has nothing to do with me!.. David – get real… you must not have a life!!!.. come get mine!!!”..
I hear you.. I feel you… just calm down. I want to CHALLENGE YOU to consider whatever amount of time you spend with the Lord, and think about what might happen if several times a year you EXTEND, whatever time you normally take. Your extended time may look like 1 hour… or maybe you might even imagine a half a day… or even… GULP… a full day!
A read a small little booklet more than 25 years ago called “How to spend a day in prayer.” It was written by Lorne Sanny who was President of the Navigator organization for decades. I’m going to reprint parts of it for you, since recently I was reviewing parts of it for me.
In How to Spend a Day in Prayer, Lorne Sanny give us these reasons for taking a break in our busy lives to spend a lengthy time alone with God.
1. For extended fellowship with God — beyond your morning devotions. It means just plain being with and thinking about God. God has called us into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9). Like many personal relationships this fellowship is nurtured by spending time together.
2. For renewed perspective. Like flying over the battlefield in a reconnaissance plane, a day of prayer gives opportunity to think of the world from God’s point of view.
Especially when going through some difficulty we need this perspective to sharpen our vision of the unseen, and to let the immediate, tangible things drop into proper place. Our spiritual defenses are strengthened while we “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For . . . what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
3. For catching up on intercession. There are non-Christian friends and relatives to bring before the Lord, missionaries on various fields, our pastors, our neighbors, our government leaders-to name a few.
Influencing people and changing events through prayer is well-known among Christians but too little practiced. And as the times become more serious around us, we need to reconsider the value of personal prayer, both to accomplish and deter.
4. For prayerful consideration of our lives before the Lord — personal inventory and evaluation. You will especially want to take a day of prayer when facing important decisions, as well as on a periodic basis. On such a day, you can evaluate where you are in relation to your goals, and get direction from the Lord through His Word.
5. For adequate preparation. If God has given us plans and purposes in these times alone, we will be ready when opportunity comes to move right into it. We won’t have to say, “I’m not prepared.” The reason many Christians are dead to opportunities is not because they are not mentally alert, but they are simply unprepared in heart. Preparation is made when we get alone with God.
Personal Prayer Retreat- part 2
In How to Spend a Day in Prayer, Lorne Sanny give us some practical tips on how to utilize your extended time alone with the Lord.
Scheduling your time
Divide the time into three parts:
1. Wait on the Lord-to realize His presence, to be cleansed, and to worship Him.
2. Pray for others. Ask specific things for them. Use Paul’s prayers in the New Testament to pray for them, and pray for them what you are praying for yourself.
3. Pray for yourself. Be totally honest with God, and yet not too introspective. (In many cases, a person will do better to pray for himself before praying for others.) As Lorne Sanny said, “You will end the day worse than you started if all you do is think of yourself and your own problems.”
Making a worry list
While you need to heed Sanny’s warning about spending the whole day absorbed in your own problems, you may find it helpful to follow the steps below in making a “worry list.” This will help you pray more effectively for yourself.
1. Give some thought to current conflicts, problems, concerns, or frustrations, and write them down and number them. List anything that is “bugging” you. No matter how small an item is, if it is of concern to you, list it.
2. Every worry you have in the world should be on that piece of paper-it is all there! When you are satisfied that this is so, go on to step three. (It is not uncommon for a person to have 20 or more items.)
3. Go through the list item by item. On each item determine whether you can do nothing about it because it is beyond your control, or whether you can do something to resolve it.
Whatever your conclusion, pray about each issue. But if you feel you can take action about it, write down what you plan to do. (You will probably find many other things to add to this “do list” throughout your time of prayer.)
What to take with you
The essential items to have with you are a Bible, paper, and a pen or pencil. Other helpful items include.
* A clock or watch
* A favorite devotional book
* Your current prayer list
* Your quiet time journal
* A hymnal Scripture memory cards
* Notes from your last extended time in prayer
* Your family or personal budget
* A bag lunch and beverage
* A calendar
About: David Loveless is the lead pastor of Discovery Church, a non-denominational, Christ-centered church in Orlando, Florida. As a leader and dynamic speaker, he is extremely passionate about helping people identify where they are in their journey and then envisioning and equipping them toward greater heart movement. He and his wife Caron, started Discovery 20 years ago, and both continue to be passionate about helping Discovery reach her full redemptive potential.
Bless You David for sharing with us on “Personal Prayer Retreat”
Blessings COOL friends, and trust that this will assist you, as you prepare for your time alone with God.
Gavin Bruce Ferrier
COOL Cyber Church – COOL Ministries International