Private Prayer Retreat

As promised, here is a brief report on my 12th annual private prayer retreat. This year I went to a wonderful little place called “Pilgrims Rest.” This private retreat facility is located about 20 miles south of Alvin and is provided free of charge by radio station KJIC. If you are interested in learning more about Pilgrims Rest click here. The accommodations are simple but not Spartan. The general manager lives next door to the radio station which is less than a 1/8 of a mile walk from Pilgrims Rest. Even though they were nearby everyone respected my solitude.

As I do every year I prayed through the church directory again praying the intercessory prayers of the New Testament letters over every family. I also prayed for each of the 80 or so prayer requests every day while away. I always feels a close fellowship connection with the Clear Lake Church as I read the sometimes funny, sometimes very personal, sometimes heart rending comments that are written on the prayer requests cards. It impresses me how many people desire to grow spiritually to be a stronger leader for their family or want strength to overcome some temptation that is threatening to overcome them. As I pray through the directory and through the prayer cards I often feel like Epaphras who was described by Paul as, “always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Colossians 4:12). I deeply appreciate those who prayed for me while I was gone and was constantly reminded of that fact by several of you who wrote on your prayer cards that you would do so.

I also worked through a number of the Contemplative Prayer exercises we learned at our church prayer retreats last years. Finally, the highlight of my retreat this year was to read through my many journals and pray through my life. I’ve always been rather reflective by nature and nearing the half century mark has made me more so. I told God that I wanted to review my life with him looking for perspective for what needs to happen next. That was a wonderful journey and God and I remembered the heights and depths, deserts and gardens of my life. The one constant has always been God’s presence. Whether I was in the pits of depression relating to Psalm 88 or on the mountains of praise singing the Hallel Psalms (113-118) God has been with me whether I recognized him or not.

Several years ago I wrote a paper encouraging ministers to take a prayer retreat. Several non-minister types read the paper and found it beneficial. If you would like to read this paper it is posted on our church web site and is entitled, “A Minister’s Private Prayer Retreat.”

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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.


2 Responses to “Private Prayer Retreat”

  1. avatar Adam says:

    I just clicked the link to the bible studies articles page on the clear lake website and saw all these articles. I was wondering if you could put the notes about women (in the church) up on the website. They would be useful for any future conversations about the subject and websites are a lot harder to lose than loose copy paper. Website also travel to places like California and Germany easier.

  2. avatar Byron says:

    I'm planning on getting those up soon. I've finished the first one (beside the final proofing) and the next two need to be converted from outlines to actual articles. Thanks for the encouragement. It's on my to-do list!

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