Prayer Retreat

Since David preached this past Sunday I am going to devote my blog to last week’s retreat. I asked the teenagers to visit this site and they wanted me to talk about our Sunday class. So, I’ll say a few words about that first. Two weeks ago I began teaching the High School class using Phillip Yancy’s video series, “The Jesus I Never Knew.” We are looking at Jesus afresh seeking to understand who he really is and breaking out of traditional images and childhood impressions.

Now about my retreat. This year I devoted myself to trying four different types or styles of praying:
Contemplative – This is simply sitting still and focusing on what is happening around me using all of my senses and being aware of God’s creation and presence. It is prayer without words or prayer from the heart rather than the mind. Of course sometimes words do come as expressions of marvel at what one is experiencing, but mostly there is silence. This was my basic form of prayer during my time away. I would practice this prayer while sitting or walking. It was helpful to be in a secluded spot.
Jesus Prayer – I practiced this one afternoon while lying on my cot. I repeated the words, “Jesus, Son of God, Savior.” As I repeated this phrase it became a part of my breathing. The words were offered to God and he opened my mind to images of others who used these words when addressing the Lord.
Praying Through My Life – I began with my grandparents who passed the Faith on to my parents and traveled with God through my life. Much of this prayer was spent in thanksgiving and reflection on the many people God has brought into my life at the very time I needed them. I also acknowledged how often God has shown me his mercy and forgiveness when I have sinned and fallen short of his righteousness.
Intercessory – This has become a foundational part of my retreats. I prayed through the church directory and lifted each individual before the Lord. I also prayed through the 110 or so requests that the church had given me.

In the future I want to help others in developing their prayer lives using the things I have especially learned during my annual prayer retreats. One specific plan for 2008 is to schedule four one-day prayer retreats for the Clear Lake Church.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


4 Responses to “Prayer Retreat”

  1. avatar Amanda says:

    Where did you end up?

    I would love to have a chance to boost my prayer life. I used to be an avid pray-er (??), but now…let’s just say I need a refresher course. I am jealous of your time alone with God.

    I hope some of the teens do come and that they leave comments. I would be interested to find out what they are thinking about all these things. Sometimes they have a much clearer vision than we do.

    If you guys come, please share your thoughts!

  2. avatar Jeremy says:

    Honestly, prayer is something that I really struggle with. I won’t go in to all the details, but I tend to view it a bit differently than most.
    I am glad that you got to spend some time walking with the Lord.
    Grace and Peace.

  3. avatar Adam says:

    I cannot seem to find a blog for bible class here. I guess there is none, so I will comment here. I did not realize that Jesus had his own batmitzfa. Also that he was Arabic and probably very different from most of the current and past video depictions in appearance and actions (in the case of BBC and its very theatrical Jesus). Probably what I like most about our bible classes thus far is that we are raising more questions than answers and allowing an open statement or question itself to be a conlusion.

  4. avatar Byron says:

    Those few lines were the only “blog” I’ve done for the Bible class Adam. I’m really enjoying being with the High School class this quarter. What I appreciate most is that people are not afraid to say what they REALLY think, instead of just saying what they think is the “correct” answer. And since you are the first teen to actually visit this site and comment I’ll have a gift (don’t get too excited) for you in class on Sunday.