If no one else, the hungry husbands and children know that tonight, many of the women in our congregation are gathering for the first evening of WUMC’s yearly women’s retreat. For a third year running, our godly women have joined for three days of prayer, Bible study, relaxation, good food, good company, and godly company. It would not be a stretch to suggest that they are even following Jesus’ own example, who took very purposeful time to escape from the demands of daily life and spend time with our Heavenly Parent (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16).
When the opportunity arises, I could hardly be more supportive of going on an intentional prayer and spiritual retreat. Years ago, one of my Formation Seminary classes took a three-day prayer retreat to a convent of Jesus and Mary in southern New York. I had never been on a retreat before where the primary purpose was quiet prayer time. I was skeptical about what I would get out of the experience and whether I could “make it” for so long. Truthfully, I desperately needed a spiritual escape. The demands of my final seminary year were crushing me, and as I sat at the retreat during the first several prayer times, I could actually sense how tense my limb and heart muscles had become over the last semester. By the end of the our time with the nuns, I felt as if my heart had unraveled like a ball of yarn; I felt calm and collected, connected to Jesus more deeply than I had in ages.
So, my friends, would you joinme in a moment as WE pray for our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, daughters, granddaughters, and all of the other women who are on the WUMC Women’s Retreat? Father God, our most loving parent, you desperately yearn for us to have a spiritually rich and abundant life. You desire that we would be free from the chains of sin and trust completely in your grace. As the women of WUMC find rest in nature, in prayer, in the Scriptures, in each other, and in You most of all, we pray that the tensions and frustrations of their world would melt away. We pray for the families and friends who love them; and we pray for all women everywhere, for the trials and struggles they face day-to-day. Oh God of peace, be our calm and quiet, and unshakable center. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Share this prayer with anyone you believe will join in, and in so doing we can cover these women in many prayers. An Men, though it were impossible for us to join the ladies this weekend, speak up in the comments below if you think we should have our own retreat in the near future!?
Jesus Christ is still
Pastor Ryan Krauss