How seriously do we take prayer and our relationship with God? We all say it’s critical, but do we put our time where our mouth is? I’m blessed to have a group of people that really do want to know God, seek His presence, and walk in His love and power. So it was about time we go on a retreat for nothing but that. We for the last three years or so we have gone out of town on a retreat for usually three days about twice a year.
This retreat had two distinctions. First, it was over 5 days long, and second, it was all focused on connecting with God, as opposed to learning something new for ministry. To go away for that long was a tall order for a group of people that aren’t used to such large retreats, and for whom to do a good get-away would be expensive. So I called up several people and just laid out the case, and God laid it on their heart to cover most of our expenses. This was an incredible blessing for so many. Here is what they said:
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to be on this retreat. It was one of the best retreats of my life. I got to know God better and know myself deeper as well. We had fantastic worship, deep study of the Bible, and good fellowship. This retreat inspired me to continue to seek God, motivated me to spend time with Him, and put me on a wave of victory. Too bad we can’t be on such a retreat more often!” – Vova and his wife Irina:
“I and my adopted [orphan] son [that she brought along – L.T.] are very grateful for the time in the wonderful conditions in a beautiful place that we spent with God and each other. We received revelations, became closer to each other, and just rested. It was an unforgettable 5 days.” – Irina
[This one was written in English.] “I wanted to tell huge thanks for opportunity to be at Losevo [the town we were at], I was blessed a LOT being there. God gave me there new revelations, a new group, new friends, and I just had a rest. :)))))” – Sveta
“Thanks to the sponsors for paying for our retreat. Through them I see the hand of the Almighty and for this reason my thanks are increased all the more. It was a special time in particular because I especially love nature. I enjoyed everything: the people, the fellowship, the community, and of course Creation, which means the Creator. This time I will remember for a long time and even will miss that place. We got closer to each other. Thank the Lord for you; may the Lord see your good works and rejoice in them!” – Natasha
“Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to be together with the members of Lyle’s group in this wonderful place.
It was a huge blessing to experience joint prayer through the Word of God and to come to know God in a new way with the team. the movement of the power of the Spirit starts in prayer. God’s works start in prayer. Prayer brings us to a place of knowing our place in the Body of Christ. May God bless you abundantly.” – Luba
So what was it all about? In a way this was part 2 of a training that had happened last year when we were in the US on furlough. The first part is detailed here. On this occasion I finally got to know Amanda, the main leader last time, and the only one this time. Amanda is on staff at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, which means that for the seven years she has been on staff, she has been in the prayer room for 24 hours a week, just leading prayer and worship. In my mind, that gives her a lot of clout in what she says and teaches, even though she is only 29 years old.
She taught us their prayer model, which I describe as an amazing mixture of high structure and high spontaneity in singing improvised musical prayers. Every two hours they pray to God straight out of the Bible, and for the next two hours they open up to anyone for intercession about anything at all – and they sing prayers to back the intercession up. Check it out live here. What Amanda remembered the most of our time was “the hunger of that little group, the heart of worship they have, their inspiring faith for dramatic change in their city.”