Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Silence & Solitude

Prayer is a spiritual discipline we all know is important, I mean, it’s our time to talk to God! However, often times our prayer life is reduced to the 60 seconds before a meal, a couple minutes before bed or after a quiet time…and of course, surrounding a time of need whether it be for someone that is sick or before you take a calculus test! Rarely would I say that we take hours to pray and commune with God.  In fact, for me, the very first time I ever spent more than an hour in prayer was during one of my first classes in Seminary. We were instructed to spend half a day alone with God, in silence and solitude. That meant at least six hours! I will admit, I was terrified about this time. What was I going to do? Where would I go? How was I going to literally spend SIX hours with God?

I tell you, it was the sweetest time ever. To be real, there were times throughout the six hours that I did struggle, I did get antsy, I did lose focus. But then I also would have times where I was literally lost in the comfort of His presence, captivated by thought of how awesome my Lord was, and deep in written conversation with Him over the most personal things. Indeed it was so sweet. Since then, I have tried to carve out a least a few consecutive hours a couple times a year to just stop and enjoy time with my Father.

This past October, I attended the LifeWay Girls Ministers Retreat. I went fully expecting a time full of laughter, tears, and most of all idea sharing! However, when I got there, I quickly found that wasn’t the plan…instead a guided prayer retreat had been set up for us. I was so tired, weary, and overwhelmed with the constant go, go, go of ministry that I realized I hadn’t stopped like this in a long while. I found myself terrified again about this lengthy time alone. 

I’m sure you can guess, the Lord did what only He does best…He was faithful. What a fruitful, refreshing, sweet time. We all needed it. How had we let ourselves go so long without it?

I did come away with a new idea though! If my heart needed this, how much more do my girls need this? The their intense schedules and demands, how could I, their Girls Minister, deprive them of learning about and experiencing one of our most important spiritual disciplines? I was burdened for my girls and the closeness with the Lord that was so readily available. I began immediately to pray about what this would look like for us. I decided to offer this only to High School girls. I didn’t see this as an “event” but more as an opportunity. This is for girls that want and crave to go deeper. With that said, it couldn’t be about numbers. I will be perfectly happy if only five girls show up or 30 girls show up because again, this is not an event, it’s a designated time set aside to meet with God.

I am so excited about this day! Will you pray for our ministry and that girls will rise up and take advantage of this opportunity to retreat away from their crazy busy schedules and see their need for time like this. Will you pray that God blesses it immensely? That girls will hear from God. That they will feel His presence and they will see His hand at work in their lives. I pray that this shakes up our entire ministry for the glory of God!

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 11:28-30, MSG

There's still time to sign-up! Deadline is March 14th

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1 comment:

  1. So well put, Suz! I definitely need this time and am so looking forward to it.