Our days are typically filled with the demands of life crying for our attention. That's why we need to plan personal retreat time to be with the Lord — four, eight, or 12 hours with nothing on our agenda except to bask in his love, thank and worship him, listen to him, intercede for others, lay our life and activities before him, and let him direct us.
In James 4:8, we read, "Come near to God and He will come near to you." He is waiting for you to slow down enough to listen to him attentively, so that your life will remain aligned with his purposes.
During your spiritual retreat day, don't rush.The objective is to spend relaxed, uninterrupted time with God, not to go through a planned format. The suggestions below are mere guidelines. Invite the Holy Spirit to be your guide throughout this day.
- Find a place where you can be alone and free from distractions.
- Bring your Bible, a notebook and pen, and worship music.
Begin with thanksgiving. Psalm 100:4 invtes us to "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise."
- Thank him for his patience and forgiveness.
- Thank him for the privilege of coming into his presence.
- Thank him for what he has done in and through your life in the last year.
Take time to list what God has done for you. Be specific. Think through every area of your life and recall his goodness to you.
Ask God to search your heart: "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139: 23-24).
- Confess any sins the Holy Spirit reveals (Psalm 19:12).
- Remember the certainty of forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
- Make certain you are walking and praying in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-20).
Become still before the Lord: "He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'” (Psalm 46:10).
- Consider who God is (Psalm 103).
- Praise him for his attributes (Psalm 145).
- Rejoice in your fellowship with him and his delight in you (Proverbs 15:8).
- Read passages of Scripture and pray them back to God (Psalms 146-150 is a great section to pray).
- Sing to the Lord (acapella, or with the assistance of recorded worship music.
Pray your way around the world with unhurried, detailed intercession for others. Ask God to reveal the world to you from his point of view as you read Psalm 33.
- Begin with the non-Christians friends, relatives, neighbors and others the Lord puts on your heart.
- Pray that the people who have never heard about Jesus would have an opportunity to hear and understand the gospel (2 Peter 3:9).
- Pray for those in authority — federal/national, provincial/state, and municipal/county government leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- Pray for Christians, using Paul's prayers in Philippians 1:9-11, Colossians 1:9-12, and Ephesians 1:16-19.
- Ask for understanding as you read an entire book of the Bible. Record any insights God gives you.
- Ask God what he thinks of your life. Wait. Listen for his answer.
- Evaluate the use of the time, talent, treasure, education, and experience God has entrusted to you. Are you glorifying God in all areas? Do you need to change anything you are doing?
- Discuss with the Lord your joys, your sorrows, and any decisions you are facing. Find pertinent promises and directives in the Bible and record them.
"The greatest answer to prayer is that I am brought into a perfect understanding with God, and that alters my view of actual things." — Oswald Chambers
Concluding Your Day With God
- Make a list of action steps you plan to take by faith in the next few weeks. Mark them in your calendar to make sure you accomplish them.
- Praise and thank God for the fellowship you had with him today.
- Schedule your next "Day with the Lord" in your calendar.
- Talk with someone about your day and the action steps you plan on taking.