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One of the goals for our church in this coming year is to have a prayer retreat. I led one a couple of years ago, but I'd like to hear what other churches have done. If your church has had a prayer retreat what was the format? Was it one day or a weekend? Was it on your church campus or off site? What did you use for materials? Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thank you for sharing.

Steve Nyenhuis


Well, I have been to a number of prayer retreats.  several were pastor/prayer leader summits.  Some were 3 days, some are 1/2 day, about 4 hours, and some are 1-2 days, some included some teaching.  Some  were facilitated by Dennis Fuqua, who uses a wonderful, fresh approach to prayer, and focuses a lot on worship based prayer.   I think having someone like Dennis come for a weekend to teach, preach and pray with a church or several churches would be very helpful in expanding/growing  a church's/community's prayer life.  It opens the door to praying differently then we have traditionally prayed in our reformed tradition.    It's not wild and crazy, but beautiful and sweet, with everything directed by the Holy Spirit, and straight out of scripture... something our conservative inclinations can be ok with.  Dennis is a very down to earth man of prayer, and we've appreciated his leading through his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in growing the level of prayer in our area.  let me find the link to his ministry, International Renewal:

and this is another link for Dennis

I also get together regularly with Dr. Alvin Vander Griend, Author of love to pray, and a founder of the Harvest Prayer Ministries.  I know he has amazing and powerful teachings on prayer, with very practical guides to help the church grow a "culture of prayer."

The board for the prayer center i help serve on, tries to have a quarterly prayer retreat.  So far, these have been 9-4ish on a Friday or Sat.  We will spend time confessing  and praying for each other (James 5:16).  We will pray about different ministries connected to the prayer center, we will pray for prayer events, we will pray for our prayer missionaries, etc. ...let's see how does that translate into a church... confessing is same, praying for ministries would be sunday school, cadet/gem programs, catechism classes, bible studies, nursery, music, youth group, whatever you guys have going on, and then also maybe praying for para church ministries that your members are involved with like feeding homeless and poor, schools, supporting single moms, or whatever it might be.   You can also pray for denominational leaders (ie Board of Trustees, Executive Director, Home Missions Director and their staff) and issues, which we generally don't get to spend very much corporate prayer time on. 

and then just pray for the Holy Spirit to pour out through prayer...

I've had extended times of  prayer together from  2+ plus hours to 3 days, some were held at church, some were at a retreat facility.  I will say, most people, including most pastors, are not ready for 3 days for various reasons, but hopefully that day is coming to the crc =)

Steve, there are lots of options, and I think you get to pray into what God  wants it to look like for your church.    some questions:  What are the funds available for it?  How busy people are might limit it to an evening or an evening and part of the next day, but a prayer retreat is far better than meeting the Pres. of the US.  You would drop everything you have going on for that opportunity =), right?  We get to meet with this amazing God of the universe, our Creator,  the One Who loves us beyond our wildest imagination!   

Hope and pray you have a powerful and profound prayer retreat where you encounter God in fresh and beautiful ways!

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