What to focus on while on retreat
We retreatants spend a lot of time in our rooms, when not participating in the prayer hours, eating, or walking. As I mentioned I brought with me about a dozen books, hoping to focus on one or two while here. Monday night I thumbed through them all, picking out chapters or passages, actively praying that God would say – “read that one, David, that’s one you need!”. But I sensed instead something different from God, perhaps a slight chuckle, then a shouted (not audible of course) suggestion – “David, don’t read. Write. Or at least do both”. This encounter changed my “plans”, so I have focused on Eugene Peterson’s memoir, “The Pastor”, and “Life on the Vine” by Philip Kennison – we read this book in seminary, and it is one of the few books I rebought after I lost my entire theological library to Hurricane Katrina, and high time I returned to it. It is a book about being, truly being, a Christian community in a culture that is becoming increasingly not at all about Jesus, and this includes many churches and church leaders. While reading I am making notes and praying about what I am learning or re-learning and how to apply it in my own life and ministry, and in the church I have been called to shepherd. And, as you can see, writing a lot. How do any of y’all feel about me trying to spend more time writing? I would love your feedback.
I told the people of St. Simon’s that I would be praying for each of them, and I am. I have a directory and have divided it up in order to spend time praying for each individual and family, for our ministries, and for our staff. Tuesday night in the chapel alone, I also spent much prayer time for Jennifer and all of my family.
Specific Prayer for St. Simon’s
Knowing our parish is going to be dealing with some challenging “opportunities” regarding our physical plant and financial realities, I spent a lot of prayer time wondering about how we can corporately pray about this. There is no need at this point to go into the challenges on this blog, but perhaps I will at a later date. I am not anxious about any of this and doing my best to trust in God and in our people. To that end, here is a prayer I offered for all of us to begin praying at our Sunday, January 1st service. Join us if you are so inclined:
“Send us your Spirit, Lord, that we may learn what you would have us do, and the words and witness you would have us offer. Guide us as we continue your work. Show us the field in which to plant, that your Kingdom may come and your power revealed in this community, to the glory of your Name. AMEN”