Jesus took his disciples away from the crowds to be alone with them…in prayer and fellowship…and he also went alone to be with His Father. (Luke 9:28; Matthew 14:23)
This week I traveled to a neighboring town to spend a day in prayer and fasting with some pastors from the region. It was refreshing to offer prayers for each other and know there are others who take their responsibility as a pastor seriously enough to gather for such a thing. I find these “retreats” to be essential to my well-being and success as a pastor.
Just a few years ago I was feeling the wear and tear of ministry and needing to find a place for retreat. My wife and I had searched online for any possible places where I could take a few days and that would not cost a lot. As it turns out the seminary I was attending would let me stay for a very reasonable price. They housed me in a small dorm where I was the only one staying. No T.V. No music. No internet. Just the solace of the few books I brought with me (including my Bible), a laptop for writing and some basic food stuffs. It became my “monastery” for spiritual retreat and I have often found great refreshment as I prayed and studied there.
In other words, I’ve had to discover (and re-discover) the strength and renewing of such times of retreat…both with others and alone. Lord, teach me to pray and find my daily provision in the hand of your Father.
[originally blogged at bluechippastor.org May 12, 2012]