Libby Hore-Lacy reports on a 24 hour EFAC Retreat.
Free to Pray, a 24hour retreat was held at Belgrave Heights in April this year. The aim of the retreat was to create time and space to attend to our prayer relationship with God. Nicky Chiswell led us in several Bible reflections demonstrating various aspects of prayer and several workshops provided opportunity to explore new ways of contemplative prayer. A few comments from some people who shared our retreat time give some insight into this time:
I haven't missed an EFAC retreat and plan not to! … a most helpful mix of bible input and reflection, balanced with tracts of personal time to spend with the Lord, gently supported by the discreet presence of the leading team. God has used the days to remind me of His Sovereignty and tender love.
Everyone needs time alone; to be alone with God and to be alone with others in prayer, like a parched garden in summer needs the rain. The EFAC retreat provides the support of others and fellowship that encourages us to deepen our lived experience of God so that we return refreshed. Love is renewed, faith is strengthened and hope in God's goodness restored. Who would want to miss that?
As a busy mum it's hard to find time to pray with much focus. What a rich blessing to have 24hrs with flexible and structured time to reflect and pray. In the silence and space I was able to unwind enough to see areas I've grown luke-warm and dry. To dwell on God's majestic sovereignty and remember Jesus' humanity. Then go back to my children a renewed mum, not because God's grace was somehow different but because he reminded me it is still sufficient. Could we have retreats every month? Jane Prentice
The planning committee enjoys sharing these retreat times with participants. We plan to present another Quiet Day and will consider a 24 hour retreat again for next year. We are keen to hear your thoughts as to what might help you strengthen your spiritual life. Please fell free to contact someone on the committee.
Planning committee: Jill Firth [chair], Nicky Chiswell, Andrew and Debra Harper, Mavis Payne, Tanya Costello, Alice Arnott, Libby Hore-Lacy.