Jesus depended on prayer.

Whether it was before a wilderness experience or when he was making a big decision, or perhaps praying for the sick, Jesus was often seen withdrawing to lonely places to pray.

Our Savior was attuned enough to know that if He was going to pour out to real people and walk in a real world, that He needed to fill up. 

So, if Jesus was smart enough to know that He needed this, why are there times I just keep running on. . .

    empty, empty, empty?

If you joined me from Encouragement for Today devo, I’m so glad you are here. In today’s devotion, I shared how I just kept on trucking until I was depleted.

Did it mean that I stopped pouring out? No, I just kept on going. Everybody knew I was exhausted spiritually and mentally. . . but me.

My husband asked me to go on a prayer retreat, something we’d never done.

When we returned I was filled up! It made me question why I let myself go so long with so little?

What I took away from that experience is not that I need to get away twice a year with my husband on a prayer retreat, though it was an amazing time, but that I need mini prayer retreats often.

Right in the midst of real life with my calendar and my schedule and my family.  

How do you create mini prayer retreats right where you are?

Be intentional

I have a Google calendar that syncs with my phone. I get pop-ups with my to-do list and appointments and conference calls.

But am I just as intentional with the One who loves me so much?

When we are intentional, it’s not about adding it on to our calendar as a task, but as an invitation.

Even as I write this, I am looking at this month’s calendar. When will I create a time just for me and my Savior for a prayer retreat? This is not my daily time with him, but set apart time to fill up this empty girl whose tendency is to just keep on truckin’.

Be creative

parkMaybe it’s an hour at the park. Find a bench and sit quietly in His presence. Rest in Him as you hear children playing. Note His creation around you. How big is God? Quietly begin to thank Him and hold out your heart for Him to fill.

Get a sketch pad. No, really, it’s awesome. Keep it tucked away, sacred, just for you and God. Invest in a few paints, vivid colors, and worship Him as you paint. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you express your needs, your gratitude, and your joy at being His daughter.

Go to a local church or worship center that is open for prayer. I googled this and found a community prayer room in my own area. It was amazing to walk into a sanctuary set up and open all day just for those who desire to pray.

Find a lonely place in nature. In this instance, lonely isn’t a bad word. It’s one devoid of technology, of clutter. Recently I drove 30 miles to a Natural Falls area. I have driven by this many times. I saw the signs, but didn’t know what was down that road. It was stunning and beautiful and quiet and serene. I sat on a bench and soaked it in, praying and asking God to sit beside me.

Pray with a friend who loves prayer. In one instance, Jesus sought out his disciples to pray with Him. I have a friend named MaryKay. Recently she picked me up at the airport in North Carolina, and that two hour drive between the airport and my destination became a retreat on its own. She loves praying, and in her presence I sensed what God can do when you seek Him out. She encouraged and lifted me up, and I treasured it.

Don’t make it a chore

It’s not about a word count.

It’s not about format or how you approach it.

It’s simply knowing that you’re thirsty and He offers living water to fill you up.

I’d love to hear more about your prayer retreat. What might that look like? What do you need from God as you intentionally walk toward all that He has for you?

Second, if you are new to my blog and missed the recent 30 Days to Intimacy, I’d love to invite you to check it out. It offers 30 days of a friend walking with you as you carve out time for just you and Jesus.