06 Jan What To Do During Your Personal Retreat With God
My personal retreat with God is just like how I spend my personal devotion with God on a daily basis, however in this retreat I spend a longer time with God in devotion. My daily personal devotion is 2 hours, however I usually split it into 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour at night, but in doing a personal retreat it could be for a day and more and that would mean spending the whole time with God. So what does this look like?
The moment you meet someone and the person catches your interest, the natural instinct is to try to get to know the person better and build a friendship, and as the friendship develops, you want to talk to the person often, and you look forward to spending some time with that person. That eagerness and desire should be similar to how you feel when it comes to spending time with God. Sadly, many Christians fall into the false assumption that personal devotion time has to be solemn and that’s why they soon begin to see devotion as boring and an activity they don’t eagerly look forward to having, but that shouldn’t be the case. Well, let me share my secret with you.
The first thing to deal with is how we see God. We can take a cue from how little children relate with their parents. They shower their parents with so much love. Children always want to talk and play with their parents and in so doing they are able to listen and learn whatever their parents teach them. Now its the same with our relationship with God, our Father. The Bible has made it clear that we should be like little children. When we approach our heavenly father, let us not come with our walls up, instead let us come undone, free and open. Let us shower Him with love, play with our Father, yes, you read that right, PLAY, and in so doing listen and learn all that He teaches us.
How then do we put this into practice. My personal devotion time is a fun, joyful, hangout with my God, my Father and Friend. First I like to come into His presence with singing, and dancing. It’s like a party all lit up in my room, sometimes I put on one of my favourite Christian playlists and begin to sing and dance along. Most of the time, I prefer to sing on my own as it flows in my spirit and dance in worship to my King. I would love to play an instrument if I could, but since I can’t, my easy go to tool is my Sekere just to give a rhythm to make it a lot nicer. Trust me, even if you were feeling down, by the time you are done with a heart felt praise, worship and dancing, the joy of the lord will envelope you and rejuvenate you. Note that dancing is also an offering to the Lord to say thank you and appreciate His goodness.
I usually move from praising and worshipping God with singing, and dancing, and musical instrument, to praying to my Lord. Now there are all manners of prayers and I let the spirit lead. Sometimes, I notice that right from the praise and worship time, the spirit of the Lord has steered me into warfare and so I begin warfare prayers. Other times, it’s just a prayers of thanksgiving, or request, or supplication, or intercession or a mixture of some or all. I also use this opportunity to edify myself by praying in tongues and letting the Spirit on my behalf. The most important thing is to let the Spirit lead, and listen to the voice of God as He responds. Prayer is a two way communication. Some of our prayers feel like we just barge into the throne room of God and say what we want to say and storm out without even hearing God’s response. I come from Nigeria were prayer is always taken like it’s a fight. It often feels like the only prayer we know is warfare, so many Christians from my region do not understand how to articulate their prayers clearly in a conversational manner and listen for a response. I found out that anytime I tried to copy the way many of my Nigerian church fellows prayed, I would just begin saying jargons and vein repetitions. Many cover their inability to pray with always praying in tongues. There should be a good balance. between praying in tongues and in your understanding. The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet. Be intentional about every word you utter in prayer. Think before talking. It is not about shouting and exerting yourself or using many words, but about having a clear communication with God. It is also not about how long you pray but how well. Then don’t forget to wait, and listen for His response. Be patient.
In doing a personal retreat not that your focus is not on your needs but the needs of the Kingdom. It doesn’t mean you cannot table your needs before God but let that not be all you are after. The Bible says we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other thing shall be added unto us. As Sons of the Kingdom, God has called us Kings and Priests unto Him. We need to step into that role. We need to seek God’s face to know what He is doing in season and what role He will want you to play. This is how we fulfil our purpose and become useful vessels in His house. A common mistake we make when retreating is praying without Listening. Listening is very crucial. Someone reading this might be wandering how do I recognise God voice? I will be discussing that in a future post, however, you can watch a video on our YouTube Channel where I talked about How To Start Hearing God’s Face.
Now that you have had a praise and worship fun party with you maker, and you have had a good chit-chat with Him in prayer, the next thing I like to do is to let that conversation continue as He speaks to me through His word in the Scriptures. The Word of God is to give us a sound doctrine, to reproof, correct, instruct, and refine us as we are better morphed into the perfect image of Christ. So I see God’s word as a mirror which helps me check myself and see areas of my life that needs adjusting, so with God’s strength I break off things I have discovered are not of God and grow better spiritually. After reading, I like to give some time to meditate on what I just read and give room for God to speak to me.
Finally, I pray, declaring God’s word into my life and with singing I go ahead with my life never loosing the presence of God as I go about my daily activities. The presence of God stays with me all day. And if you would like to know how to maintain that spiritual fire all day long, check out this video.