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.
The Bible promises us in James 4:8, "Come near to God and He will come near to you." He is waiting for you. In fact, God is looking for opportunities to speak to you, if only you would slow down enough to listen attentively. What you hear will show you how to keep your life 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 format. These are mere guidelines. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide.
- 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 tells us, "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 that He delights 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 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 they glorifying to God? Do you need to change what you are doing?
- Discuss with the Lord your joys, your sorrows, and the decisions you are facing. Find promises and directives in the Bible which you can record.
"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 calender to make sure you follow up.
- Praise and thank God for the fellowship you had with Him today.
- Schedule the next "Day with the Lord" in your appointment book.
- Share with someone about your day and the action steps you plan on taking.