Each year we do Six Day Dinner Fast & Early Morning Prayer to prepare our hearts for the upcoming Fall Retreat. The dinner fast starts from Sunday at 3pm and the early morning prayer from Monday at 5am. And this goes on for six straight days.
During the early morning prayer, we spend the first 15 minutes doing our personal devotional time (PDT) using the material I prepare for each day. After that, we pray individually for 30 minutes going over the prayer needs that are listed on the PDT sheet. Then, we all come together as one group and corporately pray the last 15 minutes specifically for the retreat as I call out each prayer topic.
It’s been so good to see many New Lifers coming out early in the morning to spend time in God’s presence as we meditate on God’s word and lift up our prayer needs to Him. We dismiss ourselves sharply at 6am because we need to go to school, work or back to sleep.
As I return to the place of my prayer to pray some more, I hear people talking, giggling and laughing as they file out from the sanctuary. And that is music to my ears. I am just so happy that New Lifers are experiencing joy of the Lord as they spend time with God in PDT and prayer.
Yesterday was the last day. I didn’t know how many people were going to show up to pray. I made 80 copies of the PDT sheet the first five days. But I made 120 copies for the last day. After all the prayers were done, we stood in a big circle and counted off. 1, 2, 3…120, 121 and 122! Later on, one member told me that we had 123 people because he was outside and wasn’t counted. With several children that came out with their parents, we had almost 130 people. Jesus said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matt. 9:29) I am thinking there could have been more people had I made 150 copies! Oh, how a man of little faith I am.
This year’ retreat registration process went wild and more than 500 people registered even before the registration deadline. I sense that the Holy Spirit will do something very special and precious in our midst as the theme of the retreat is “Dealing with Pain and Suffering in Life.”
We have less than two weeks before the retreat. Let’s continue to pray to prepare our hearts for what God will do for us during the retreat. Let’s bring all our pains and sufferings to the retreat and lay them down at the foot of the cross. Jesus can handle all of them and then some more. And then, experience the rest for our souls that only Christ can give to us.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
I will miss praying with you early in the morning. See you next year!
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