Personal Retreat 3: A Day Alone with God

BY Doug Jones

September 13, 2012


  • Read Personal Retreat Part 1: Here
  • Read Personal Retreat Part 2: Here

During my early years in ministry, I often wanted to go on a personal retreat day, but one of the reasons it was pushed out of my schedule was the simple question, What do I do for a day alone with God? I could see that I needed to get away to refocus my awareness, tune up my alertness, and become more attentive to God, but I lacked the experience of actually spending eight or more hours alone for that purpose. Out of desperation, I finally took the plunge, and after a couple of times on retreat, by trial and error, I came up with a schedule you can modify that might be helpful for you.

A few tips:

  • Take it slow; be conscious of your pace as you begin and end each element.
  • Allow for 30-45 minutes for each element and then pause before jumping to the next element.
  • Remember, it isn’t about finishing or following the entire schedule; it’s about being with God


  • Pray – Dedicate the time to be with God.
  • Read – Open the Scripture and spend some time reading it aloud, slowly and reflectively.
  • Listen – Become present to the presence of God.
  • Wait – Trust that God will reveal what we need.


  • Lunch – Listen to a book on tape or sermon as you eat.
  • Rest – Relax, nap, be.
  • Enjoy – Count your blessings or listen to a worship recording.


  • Pray – Spend some time praying about your concerns and/or with a prayer book.
  • Reflect – End your time journaling about your day. After reflecting, distill your day to a paragraph or less.

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