If you’re new to taking an entire day alone with God, experiment with this guide (adapted from John Ortberg):
- Evening Before: Prepare your heart and get a good night of sleep. Ortberg and others have been heard to say, “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is sleep.”
- Morning Of: Limit your exposure to noise and restrict your conversation with others as much as possible.
- What to Bring: Brennan Manning insists that the only items to bring with you are your Bible, a journal, and pen. Often, I will still bring a spiritual formation book (like one listed below) and my iPod. Worship is one of the ways I most experience God’s presence, so listening to a few worship songs throughout the day allows me to deeply connect with God. (Plus, I’m just not as spiritually mature as Brennan Manning!)
- 9:00-10:00: Prepare your mind and heart. Take a walk or do whatever will help you set aside concerns over other tasks. Write down tasks or worries than come to mind so you can focus your day on Jesus.
- 10:00-11:00: Read and meditate on Scripture, taking time to stop and reflect when God seems to be speaking to you.
- 11:00-12:00: Journal your responses, thoughts, and feelings about what you’ve read in God’s Word.
- 12:00-1:30: Eat lunch and walk; reflecting on the morning. Process the condition of your soul. You may also want to consider fasting on this day.
- 1:30-2:00: Rest, worship, or nap.
- 2:00-3:00: Ask God to speak into your ministry. How might God want to inform your ministry’s direction, health, and activity?
- 3:00-4:00: Write down any action steps or any other thoughts in a journal. You may want to do this in the form of a prayer.
- Evening: As much as possible, make a slow transition back into noise and tasks. Share about your day with a spiritual friend or your spouse, or close the day in silence.
My prayer for you and me is that we would often withdraw to lonely places of prayer to connect with God, hear his voice, and care for our souls. My prayer is that within the demands of the important and urgent tasks, we would value the truly important and urgent task of experiencing the Father’s love. May our ministries be irrevocably transformed by our intimacy with the true Leader of our work.