By: Dr. Amanda H. Goodson
The women’s retreat was absolutely awesome! Said Lynn. Lynn reflects that she never had been so excited about learning or about going to church. Lynn participated in an annual retreat before, but this retreat was like none other before it. Participants came from across country to fellowship with other women, learn more to take back to their local church and renew their commitment to Christ Jesus.
The first day started with dinner and a conference overview, which was pretty standard. The participants learned where the breakout sessions would be held, when and where the meals would be served. Later that evening things got a little deeper. The participants were asked to commit to no television, no phones (yes this includes texting friends), and no negative talk (criticizing, backbiting, or comparing). The ladies were asked to sign the commitment letter and pass them to the leadership team for filing. As Lynn reflects, one lady had a hard time signing her commitment letter, because she was a television game show junkie. A few of the young ladies gave a big gulp because they had plans to text their friends across the country to get the latest happenings in their home town. The young ladies NEEDED to text someone. It was going to be tough letting go. One lady held her head down because she had acted unbecoming of a woman of God by talking in an unloving tone to the lady at the front desk at the hotel. Whew, what a commitment. Well, it was just for a weekend, Lynn thought.
The first speaker spoke about the disciples in the boat on the lake. Her topic was “Stay in the boat”…participants look puzzled “Stay in the boat? One asked?” She repeated “Stay in the boat!” the moral of the story was that Peter had asked to get out of the boat for one or more reasons, but the disciples did exactly what Jesus commanded of them “get in the boat and go to the other side” so, to get to the other side…”Stay in the boat!”
The next morning started early with a speaker from the West coast. Her major theme was to do what you do “by the Spirit” She said that so many times we just walk around the issue and walk around what the Lord wants us to do. She challenged us to connect and do everything by the Spirit of God.
After praise and worship, just about ten o’clock, the next speaker began to speak to the ladies on the subject “pray better”. He used the story of Hezekiah and how his prayers revolutionized a nation and also caused God to add fifteen more years onto his life. The focus on praying better reminds us the power that comes through prayer. The speaker taught us that we usually pray less that fifteen minutes a week (besides our prayers over our food and our one minute have it our way good morning or good night prayer). He further reminded us that when we pray and turn our face to the Lord, something awesome always happens. God will hear you.
He petitioned us to pray for each other with clarity and specifics. He said that we weep and call our friends first. If that doesn’t work, then we will pray. The speaker said that we should change the order: “Pray first then weep”. He summarized that we should all “Pray better”.
The final speaker taught about the person of the Holy Spirit. She gave information about the difference between a person and a human being. She engaged the audience to petition and agree for a better relationship with the Holy Spirit and to receive His gifts that He gives to supernaturally edify the body of Christ.
The retreat ended with prayer and re-commitment by participants.
What about you? Are you like Lynn? Can you get excited about the things of God? Are you willing to commit to Jesus, pray better, stay in the center of God’s will and develop a better relationship with Him through the person of the Holy Spirit? If so, you just had an awesome retreat experience right where you are!!
Lord, I seek to have a more intimate relationship with You. I commit to love and live for You forever. Amen.