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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

6 Benefits of a Silent Retreat with God

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6 Benefits of a Silent Retreat with God

by Debbie Przybylski

“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.

Recently my husband and I went on a short spiritual retreat in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We sat in a beautiful cottage called "The Refuge" situated alongside the Big Thompson River in Estes Park, with a steady stream of water cascading over the rocks just a few feet from our front door. We walked into this retreat home and to our amazement, it was filled with worship music and Bible verses on every wall; "Be Still and Know that I am God," "The Lord is Our Refuge" and many more were everywhere. It was a breathtaking layout with everything pointing to silence and rest in God's presence.

The weather was rainy most of the week but even in spite of the rain, that cottage was a place of refuge for us. They told us it had been raining for days! But we were nestled inside that quiet place with five days of endless time to behold God and His mighty works. The mountains were majestic in stature, and when the rain stopped, we were able to drive to the very heights and see life with a mountaintop view of God's handiwork.

During those days I sat silently before God and would just behold His beauty and the attractiveness of that retreat place alongside those gorgeous mountains. I realized afresh how wonderful and necessary it is to be quiet before God in silent meditation. I needed it. As we enter into the end of the age, we must be quiet before God, find Him as our refuge, and rise up to the heights and see life from His viewpoint.

I encourage you to take time to be silent before God. I do this on a regular basis in my home and find that it adds a wonderful dimension to my prayer life. The Colorado retreat reinforced deeply to me the importance of beholding God in silent meditation. Most of us are very busy, but we all can narrow down our lives to what is most important.

The Bible says that we must be still in order to know God. Silence is a necessary art if we want to really know God. It is a gift from God. So if God is quieting down your activity or stopping you in some way, perhaps He wants you to learn this important discipline. God is wooing you to Himself. He is removing all the barriers of true communion with His spirit. This is a gift to you so embrace it with all your heart.

“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:
"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).

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