Who goes on a journey without the necessary essentials? Who goes into the Kitchen to cook without having all ingredients available? Well, that was me a year ago and it could have been you also.
When was the last time you had a personal retreat? Do you plan to go on one but you don’t know how to prepare? This piece is just for you. Here, you’ll know why you need to go on a personal retreat and how to prepare when going on one.
In May 2021 to be precise, I went on a 3-Day retreat with a friend of mine from my place of work. We made plans on what to take along, the method of our fasting, etc, but a lot was still missing in our preparation and all through the retreat the time spent sleeping was longer than the time spent seeking the face of God. I made the same mistake in July of the same year.
Then I asked myself, why leave the comfort of my bed just to sleep in the open space instead of seeking the face of God? This took me into a mode of reflection, and then I saw what we did wrong and I wouldn’t want you to do the same.
WHAT IS A RETREAT?
Luke 5:15-16 — “15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” (KJV). From the above, we can deduce that Retreat is a time of withdrawing from every form of distraction. It is a way of escaping to a quiet place.
The purpose of retreat could be to get closer to God, to seek His face for a need, to go for renewal in His presence, etc. Check also (Mark 6:31, 1 Kings 19:10-12)
HOW LONG SHOULD A RETREAT BE?
There is no standard length of time, it all depends on the level of your consciousness of the boundless strength granted to you by the Holy Spirit. Although, if you’re going on your first retreat, it’s advisable to try out HOURS instead of DAYS. Then as you become consistent in having a personal retreat, you can then grow into 2 Days or more. However, the goal of every retreat irrespective of the length is to avoid every form of distraction and come to a place of stillness.
5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR A PERSONAL RETREAT
- PRAY: Yes, the retreat aims to pray as you seek your face, however, before you embark on the hours/days retreat, you are expected to start praying ahead. Commit your heart into the hands of God to be brood upon. (Psalm 42:1-2 — “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (KJV))
- KNOW YOUR WHY: Why are you going on a retreat or simply put, why do you need a retreat? If you don’t know the major reason, you’ll only be wasting your time as you wouldn’t know what exactly to seek from Him. It’s your why that pushes you to arise even in your tiredness.
- GET A JOURNAL: It is in this journal you’ll write out your request, what you intend to receive from the Lord, the instructions you’ve received while preparing for your retreat and the Scriptures received. Also, this journal becomes handy for taking records of the encounter that happened during the retreat either when praying or studying.
- BY YOURSELF: Well, it might be good to go with someone, only if the person is stronger than you because the scripture says “iron sharpeneth iron, so as a friend sharpeneth the countenance of his brother.” However, you should go alone to be committed. Although in the case of my friend, there are times when I see her sleeping, I go to sleep as well and when she sees me praying or I see her, we both quicken ourselves. Remember, it is called personal retreat for a reason and this Salvation journey is a one-man journey.
- DISCARD YOUR GADGETS: A retreat should be a time away from the noise, so you should learn to do away from your phones, social media, etc. Because it is easier to be distracted by your phones. However, you can only get used to this when you know how to do away with your phone even during your 30 minutes or 1-hour quiet time. I am always shocked when I see people praying and they stop just to pick up a call.
Other tips include: Fasting, Having a Hardcopy Bible, Getting rid of all your worries, opening up your heart, etc.
I hope this helps you. It is not too late to go on a retreat before 2022 runs out. It’s needed.
Your preparation should be before the retreat, during the retreat and live the memories after the retreat.