Luke 5:16: “16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Bob Johnson and I recently felt led to draw apart from our busy everyday lives to seek God. We had the privilege of doing a six day, mostly-silent prayer retreat at an Episcopal monastery earlier this month. A lot of our people don’t know there are Episcopal monasteries, but Bob and I can assure you that there are, and that the Episcopal monks at St. Gregory’s Abbey (Michigan) are very serious about the prayer life they feel called to. Their first prayer session is at 4:00 a.m., and there are six more throughout the day, plus daily Eucharist, and a 30-minute meditation period. The last prayer session is at 7:45 p.m.
It was a truly special time for Bob and me in multiple ways. In one way, a strong way, it was hard to leave the monastery and the monks. Though we had not spoken with them much at all, mostly keeping silence as they do, we felt we had connected deeply with them in the Spirit through the prayer sessions, daily Eucharist, and daily meditation period. As we left the monastery, we felt strengthened in our desire to follow Jesus in often withdrawing to pray and simply be with God.