Posted on June 13, 2008
Those who go through the Pure Praise worship study are challenged to take a day and get away for a personal spiritual renewal retreat. The following is a recommended guide to use on that retreat. Of course, this guide will work for anyone, whether you are doing Pure Praise or not.
My Day Away
Preparing to Go
Take your Bible, journal and pen and your copy of Pure Praise. Find a quiet, secluded place outside where you can write. Be sure you clear your schedule for the rest of that day so that nothing is pressing upon you immediately following this time away. It’s important
that your mind be free from clutter and concerns about your day’s responsibilities and schedules. It is also imperative that you plan for at least four hours of alone time before the Lord.
When You First Arrive
Take off your watch now and set it aside. Don’t think of time. Think only of connecting with the Father and staying until you hear everything He has for you. Because you’ve cleared your schedule today, you have no reason to think of time. Review the characteristics of God’s voice and contents of His words that are summed up in Week 4 of Pure Praise. The priority is to listen throughout this exercise. Determine now to do more listening today than talking. According to Charles Swindoll, developing “Intimacy with the Almighty” requires four disciplines. Our goal today is to experience all four of these: solitude, silence, simplicity and surrender.
- Start by praying and asking God to help you focus to hear what He wants to tell you today. Pray that He will protect your mind from deceptive and evil thoughts from the enemy during this time.
- Meditate on Psalm 46. Read it through two or three times. Dedicate a page in your journal now to answer the following questions about this chapter.
- What is the theme?
- What are the key verses or phrases?
- What is God saying to you through this passage? (“What God Said to
- What is your response back to Him? (“What I Said to God”)
- Now “be still” for a while and listen. Write down every sound you hear. Focus. You’ll be surprised at how many sounds there are around you that you had never noticed until now. Stop and listen even closer. What else do you hear around you?
- Write a prayer in your journal asking God to help you now to focus with that same intensity on His “still, small voice” today.
- Journal all the below: (Allow ample time to do each part. Don’t rush through these steps. Completely finish one before moving to the next.)
- Thanksgiving – Take time to journal the blessings in your life.
- Praise – Take time to praise God for who is He and what He has made (around you). Sing some praise songs out loud. Quote whatever scriptures come to your mind that praise Him. Read aloud the following Psalms: Psalm 100, Psalm 103, Psalm 96 & Psalm 145.
- Confession – Make a “sin list” of every known unconfessed sin that God brings to your mind. Be very specific. Most people who do this exercise for the first time are surprised at how far back unconfessed sins can go! (Then claim 1 John 1:9 in the margin and tear the paper into tiny shreds!)
- Supplications – Pray over your own needs and concerns, including those of your immediate family. Claim specific scriptures (like John 15:7 or Matthew 7:7) over your personal needs. Be exhaustive with this. Be honest with God about your deepest fears, frustrations, doubts, and other emotions due to your circumstances and responsibilities.
- Intercessions- Pray for those you know who are lost, backslidden, hurting, confused, needing guidance and protection, etc. (Pray Ephesians 1:1719 and 3:14-19 in the margin for them.) Pray for your country and its leaders, your friends and neighbors and colleagues. Intercede for each as God brings them to mind. Be sure to write their names and their needs in your journal.
- Go for a “Prayer Walk” now. This is different from a mindless stroll because you are talking and listening to God the entire time. Imagine He’s walking right along beside you. A Prayer Walk is also very different from a walk for your health. Slow down. This is not exercise for the body, but healthy “heartburn” for the soul. (“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road…” Luke 24:32, NKJ) Pray back to God what He has shown you today. Ask Him to speak to you as you walk and talk to Him like you would your best friend. Surrender fully to what He tells you.
Before You Leave
Journal what you just experienced on your Prayer Walk along with anything God showed you and/or you committed to Him. Ask God if there’s more He wants to show you. Be sure not to leave this quiet place until you have the peace that passes understanding. If there is any unrest and uncertainty about whether you’ve connected with your Father and heard clearly from Him, then stay a bit longer and pray it through.