Do you desire to be intimate with God? Do you have it in mind to undergo a personal retreat in this festive period? Are you confused about where to observe your personal retreat? Do you even know what a personal retreat is and how it helps your relationship with God?
If you answered YES to any of the questions above, congratulations! The final solution is here! Ensure you do not miss a line or be distracted while reading, to get the best out of this content. Just as constant communication fosters interpersonal relationships, frequent personal retreats strengthen an individual’s relationship with God.
What Is A Personal Retreat?
A personal retreat is a particular time that an individual sets apart to commune with God. It is a particular time that an individual sets apart to seek the face of God and spend quality time with Him. Personal retreats could be hours, days, or months (as the case may be).
Are There Instances Of Personal Retreat In The Holy Scriptures?
Yes! Instances of personal retreat abound in the Bible, both in the old testament and new testament. We could see it in the following individuals:
1. Jacob who later became Israel (Genesis 32:24). Jacob was alone with God till the breaking of the day. It was a personal retreat.
2. Moses (Exodus 24:18; Exodus 34:28). Moses was with God for forty days and nights in both scenarios, spending personal time with God on a personal retreat.
3. Daniel (Daniel 6:10). Daniel always prays to God thrice daily. It is also a form of personal retreat as it was an “alone” time with God.
4. Jesus (Luke 6:12). Jesus Christ who is our model and perfect example prayed all night. It was a form of personal retreat with God.
5. The Early Disciples (Acts of Apostles 1:4; 2:1-4). Before Jesus’ ascension, He instructed His disciples not to depart from Jerusalem until they receive the promised gift of the father — The Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). They waited in Jerusalem. It was a form of personal retreat for them also.
6. Saul who later became Apostle Paul (Acts of Apostles 9:1-11).In these selected verses, Saul who became Apostle Paul had a three-day retreat.
How Does Personal Retreat Foster Our Relationship With God?
Couples, friends, families, and acquaintances that communicate frequently and consistently are always more intimate than those that do not. This is because communication is the lifeline of every relationship. It also applies to our relationship with God. Since the personal retreat is an “alone” time with God where we commune with HIM as friends, it helps us to become more intimate with God.
What Is The Best Venue For A Personal Retreat?
In the Bible days, we saw that some individuals had personal retreats on mountains (Moses, Abraham, and others). Some had it in Jerusalem which can be likened to a local church (The Early Apostles). Some had it in their houses (Jesus who tarried all night).
A choice of personal retreat venue is dependent on you. If I were to choose a mountain for you, I don’t know how close a prayer mountain is to your location. If I were to choose your house for you, I don’t know how busy and disturbing your house occupants may be. Even if they disturb you a lot, inform them beforehand and close your room’s door from behind.
However, ensure that your chosen location is:
・ Free from disturbances.
・Free from distractions.
・Free from wild animals (It is unwise to choose a deserted forest where wild animals dwell for a personal retreat).
・ Free from dangerous health hazards (e.g. smoke, exhaust, dust, etc).
Things You Can Do During Personal Retreats
During personal retreats, do the following:
1. Commune with God as often as possible (Luke 18:1)
Remember, you were on the retreat to seek God’s face. Make proper use of the time to commune with GOD.
2. Study God’s Word as often as possible (Joshua 1:8)
As you are communing with GOD (prayer), ensure that it is accompanied by a voracious study of GOD’s word. Why will you keep drinking spiritual water (prayer) without accompanying it with spiritual food (the Word of God)? Ensure to do both.
3. Fast if you can (Matthew 9:15)
Unless otherwise instructed by GOD, I do not recommend fasting for a patient whose health condition demands that (s)he shouldn’t fast. Why will an ulcer patient ignorantly fast and endanger his or her health? If you can, fast. If you can’t but you were instructed by God to fast, trust in His word, and fast also! But, fasting without prayer is a hunger strike. Pray as you fast!
4. Praise God often (Psalms 107:8,15, 21, 31)
Yes, sing songs of praise to God always. Even as you are studying the word of God, make melodies unto God from your heart.
5. Intercede for others (1st Timothy 2:1-2).
Do not be a selfish believer! As you are praying for yourself, remember your family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else in prayer also.
6. Think about the things above (Colossians 3:1).
As you are there during the retreat, intentionally think about God and things that are with Him above. Intentionally direct your heart toward God during the retreat.
7. Avoid distractions!
How would you feel if your friend or spouse called your attention and intentionally (or unintentionally) kept you waiting, attending to other things? Sad, right? God has emotions also. Avoid distractions, especially phone and social media during personal retreats.
I hope you found this helpful. May God answer your prayers and help you to be more intimate with Him in Jesus’ name.