6 Benefits of A Silent Retreat With God

“Silence in prayer is often not something we orchestrate; rather, it is a gift that can come upon us quite unexpectedly. Instead of rushing to fill the gap, we learn to embrace the gift as the better part of our time of prayer.” 
- Quotes by Wesley and Stacey Campbell

Dear intercessors,
In learning about prayer, silence contemplation is a special dimension that very few of us have fully grasped. Most of us are not skilled in beholding God. One of the reasons for this is because we have been influenced by the noise and busyness of our present-day life style. And in the midst of a whirlwind of activity that we have so often misunderstood as important or necessary, we have missed the beauty and necessity of learning the discipline of silence before God. We so often miss out on the life of contemplation, one of beholding the beauty of Jesus.

Be still, and know that I am God” - (Psalm 46:10).
“In silent contemplation, a supernatural drawing occurs. Having come to the end of words, we simply stare in silence at the person of God. One of the most apt, and most beautiful, descriptions of the essence of contemplation that I have heard comes from a simple farmer: ‘Think of the wonderful description given by that unlettered farm laborer at Ars who used to remain for hours in stillness and silence gazing at the tabernacle and when the Cure d’Ars asked him what he did there, simply replied: I LOOK AT HIM, AND HE LOOKS AT ME.’”

The Benefits of Silent Contemplation in Prayer 
“From time to time you will begin to touch the state of inward silence. What shall be your response to such an experience? But what shall you do? Nothing! Simply yield to the inward drawing. Yield to the wooing of your spirit. Your spirit is drawing you deeper within.”

There are so many benefits of retreating before God in silent contemplation. Here are some of them:

God fights on our behalf when we are silent - 
We are too weak to fight our enemies ourselves. We will be wounded, but in times of temptation if we remain in faith in God's presence, He will give us His strength.

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” - (Exodus 14:14).

We find God in a deeper dimension
In silent prayer, we develop the art of looking at God.

“’You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” - (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

We grow in the art of meditating on Scripture
Exodus 34:6-7 is filled with the divine attributes of God. I encourage you to meditate on these verses for a long period of time.

"And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin'” - (Exodus 34:6-7).

We learn to shut out external activity
We learn the art of external simplicity and inwardly learn to dwell in God’s presence.

"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple" - (Psalm 27:4).

We learn to meditate on God’s nature
It is good to start with meditating on one aspect of God’s nature in a single verse of Scripture. For example, meditate on God’s holiness adorning His house for endless days as found in the following verse:

“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord” - (Psalm 93:5).

We grow in our love relationship with God
Wee learn to live out the first commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength.

"He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself” - (Luke 10:27).

I pray that each one of us will learn the secret of silent contemplation and have personal retreats with God. This is where we take the time to commune with God heart-to-heart and spirit-to-spirit. It will not happen by chance, but we must give time for this and understand its’ value. We should do this regularly for shorter times, and occasionally for longer retreats.

We are in a time when we must find our refuge in God and see the world from His vantage point. Intimacy and stillness before the Lord is going to be key to living a successful and joyful life in this hour. It's time to realize that it's all about a wedding at the end of the age and we are Jesus' Bride. You are the Bride of Christ. This is a day of preparation and transition into what really matters for eternity. We must lean upon our beloved in all that we do. We are not complete until we find our center in God.

[written by Debbie Przybylski]