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I participated in a prayer retreat last week.  It was for pastors, spouses, church leaders, and really anyone else that wanted to show up.  There were no restrictions on the door that I was aware of.  You didn’t have to be “in need of prayer” to participate.  Just show up.  About 30 of us did.

I call this post Part 2 because 12 months ago I sat in the first prayer retreat of this kind.  My friend Roland Lewis organizes them and opens the door to whosoever will may come.  Roland “leads” it, but the truth is he hands over the functional operational leadership to another mutual friend, Leland Botzet.  Roland’s main job was to collect the registration funds, announce “start”, inform us when meals were, and what was the pass code into the security system of the building.  Leland fuelled the prayerful engagement over 24 hours, and a good job he did.

We prayed corporately and privately, sang worship songs (praying as we sang?), listened quietly, and even invited individuals seeking personal prayer to submit themselves to the larger body for intercessory prayer.  The event was  like walking  10 km trek.  You knew we had a distance to go, but it was at a sustainable pace as we moved through one day into the next.  Leland walked us through Ephesians 3:20/21 as a template for our prayer times.  It can be done–because he did it, very well.

Personal observations?  I am a sucker for these things.  I am no more godly than the next bumpkin but I know that if I take advantage of a prayer meeting, chances are I will be blessed.  This was no exception.  I walked away deeply soul satisfied that this was a wonderful time spent with God.  Healing?  Dramatic interventions in answer to prayer?  Crutches and wheel chairs being abandoned?  Not at this retreat.   In fact one brother came in on crutches due to a broken ankle and left a day later still managing his crutches poorly.

But was God present?  I say yes.  He brought shalom to the soul of us as individuals.  He brought agape as we listened to each other, then prayed for each other.  He brought hope as we beseeched the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into the harvest.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a couple of days.

Limitations?  Certainly.  Did we drill down deep into brokenness?  Didn’t happen this time.  It could have, but it didn’t.  Perhaps we are too safe as people.  Risk taking is risky.  I don’t know, take what was there and use it is my approach to these things.  Trust God in what was evident, and trust God what wasn’t evident.  At the end of the day, we have to trust God for everything.

 

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