What to Expect - Questions You May Be Asking
Immanuel Prayer Retreats
Mark your calendars for Immanuels’s Prayer Retreats - mornings of prayer where we take time to re-focus our attention and our priorities in a way that helps us “keep in step with the spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Beginning at 9:30 a.m., we open with a time of simple worship followed by a prayer walk around Immanuel’s campus praying for Immanuel member and ministry concerns. Beginning at 11a.m. Angela Wisdom and Jim Wilhoit introduce a time of silent prayer for personal refreshment and spiritual renewal.
9:45a: Morning Office (a brief worship service with a simple liturgy we experience together to prepare our hearts for the morning) - Sanctuary
10:15-10:45a: Prayer for Immanuel’s Ministries & Members – Prayer Walk as individuals or groups of 2 or 3 or 4 (personal choice) around the church campus with the Prayer Retreat Guide
10:45a: Return to Sanctuary, Orientation for Personal Prayer & Reflection
11:00a: Personal Prayer & Reflection – Resources will also be made available to help guide the personal prayer and reflection time. This is a time for prayerful attentiveness, when we refrain from interacting directly with one another so that all might enjoy the spaciousness of fellowship in prayerful quiet. It is a gift to set aside our direct relating to one another to be quietly relating with the Lord undisturbed.
12:00p: Closing Session
Saturday mornings from 9:30a-12:30p.
- February 6, 2016
- April 16, 2016
Immanuel Presbyterian Church. We begin in the Sanctuary but spread out during the times of prayer for Immanuel’s Ministries and Members and during the times of Personal Prayer and Reflection. During nice weather, you might want to plan to spend some of your time enjoying the outdoors.
It can be easy to live life somewhat on “autopilot,” checking in with God from time to time with our concerns and also asking Him to bless our plans. However, prayer is not only a time to communicate with God, but a time to commune with God. We are created for relationship with God and with each other. Immanuel Prayer Retreats are an opportunity to deepen the personal and corporate aspects our life with and in God.
Why not just pray on my own at home?
Prayer Retreats are an opportunity for each of us to spend some time away from everyday distractions with the intent of having a more quiet, set-aside space to attend to God. While an on-going life of prayer is something we all hope to experience, occasional times away from our everyday settings can help us listen differently and hopefully allow us to return to our familiar settings with a greater capacity to pay attention to the ways God is with us every day. Prayer Retreats at Immanuel (as opposed to another retreat center or favorite quiet place) are a way of nurturing our sense of commitment to our covenant community. It also helps us to spend time in quiet prayer together on our grounds so that when we return in midst of busy ministry activities we are more conditioned to remember God with us in the midst of the wonderful activity that happens in and through the ministries and people here.
Why have private/silent prayer in community?
There is a great benefit to experiencing one another in the quiet of a prayer retreat when there isn’t pressure to relate directly with one another in conversations. Experiencing each other’s presence in shared prayer retreats deepens our love and appreciation for our brothers and sisters in Christ and helps us receive others as they are without the pressure to strike up and maintain a conversation or discuss a project. It gives us a chance to relate to each other on a deeper level that helps build trust in our community. For introverts, it’s a welcome and refreshing way to be in community. It’s engaging with the Body of Christ without feeling relationally depleted and in need of a recharge. For extroverts, listening to God in community is a way of sharing our life with God with others, but at the same time grow in our capacity to attend to our interior life of prayer.
Is there childcare?
We do not currently have childcare for the retreats; however, parents are encouraged to take turns attending. In addition, we hope that April’s Prayer Retreat will be especially designed to include Immanuel’s children.
What to bring
Wear comfortable clothes/shoes.
Bring a water bottle and snack (if you think you would like something mid-morning). Coffee will be served in the upstairs kitchenette.
Bring your journal, Bible or anything else that helps you stay present to the Lord in your prayer. Perhaps you like to knit or sketch or some other quiet activity. As long is it is something that helps you in your prayer and listening to God, bring your supplies.
If the weather is nice, bring a camp/lawn chair or picnic blanket if you’d like to spend some of the prayer retreat outside.
How to prepare
Spend some personal time asking the Lord how you might best prepare for the time, and then come with an open heart ready to receive whatever He has for you and for the Immanuel community as we share this time together.