My first thought when I went to read the chapter this week: Retreats? Easy! My mind immediately jumped to the people-filled retreats that we love to plan, but Sorge is talking about a very different type of weekend get-a-way.
The prayer retreats Sorge suggests are all about spending extended time alone with God. The chapter describes pastors who rent cabins in the woods for 3-5 days once a year to spend time alone in prayer and fasting.
There’s a reason community is so easy to build on retreats. We’re away from normal distractions and everyone is similarly focused on growing relationships. The same basic concept is true for prayer retreats. Your relationship with the Lord will benefit because you’re focused on Him alone without the normal distractions of the day.
Setting aside a full day or weekend completely dedicated to spending time with the Lord will likely take some pre-planning. It’ll require working ahead on homework so you’re not distracted by everything you have to do, and it’ll require saying no to a lot of other things (or people) that could consume your time.
As a college student, it isn’t extremely practical to think about renting a hotel or cabin by the lake alone for a few days. (I can hear my parents laughing at the suggestion now…) But, there are some ways to achieve the same basic concept. Find a secluded part of a park or explore some of the random spots around Athens. Look up state parks or hiking trails around you. The Lord doesn’t need you to take extreme measures; all He wants is your willingness and dedication.
If you’re anything like me, the thought of spending an entire day’s worth of quiet time is a little overwhelming. That’s a lot of time to fill, but it’s completely the Lord’s job to fill it. I don’t have to know how God is going to speak or what He wants to do. I just get to wait until He shows me.
Our buddy Sorge suggests simply: embrace the boredom. God will show up. That’s a Biblical promise. He loves to meet with His people that genuinely want to spend the time with Him.
Brittany Futch, prayer