Prayer and Conversion: A Transitional Journey Toward Abundant Living
I am developing a retreat with the theme focusing upon prayer and conversion. Conversion happens when transition turns into change. Conversion happens when we turn away from the old and embrace the new life in Christ.
I hear people say all the time that there is power in prayer. Actually, there is no power in prayer. The reality is that there is the power of God to answer prayer. I lay my requests before God, with the full awareness that God will edit my prayers, and, in fact, most days my fervent prayer is that God would protect me from myself. I am through dictating to God what I think God should do. Rather, I pray that I might submit to God and allow God to have free reign with my life.
What is the journey toward abundant living? It is a journey that some would say is self-designed; then, one asks God to make it happen. I have come to reject that notion as idolatrous and dangerous. It is certainly acceptable to lay desires before God, doing so in such a way that acknowledges the wisdom of God in the answer. This was exemplified for me when someone said to me, “I trust God, but I am not sure that I trust God to do what I want God to do.” This is the honest expression of those who ask God for gold, but are afraid that God will hand them a poisonous snake instead.
The journey toward abundant living is a journey on which I submit to the vision of God, and then let God lead me toward God’s vision. It is a journey where I have absolutely no control and it is a journey of trust. It is a journey in which I discover that all things do work together for good and that the glory of God is revealed. It is a journey in which I come to know that God’s definition of good is the definition I desire.
Prayer, which is relational submission before God, allows the Spirit to discern those things that hold one back from living the abundant life. In prayer, the Spirit leads one to turn away from those things that hold one back. In prayer, one is released to live more fully in the presence of God. God is always fully present, but it is our clutter that keeps us from seeing God.
The retreat on prayer and conversion offers a setting for exploring these concepts, and provides a place for reflective, discerning, contemplative prayer. To schedule this retreat, you may contact Steve Arnold via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone, 651-261-9853.