Today’s Truth

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5:16 NLT)


Friend to Friend
I had been in a busy season of ministry and family. I was running perilously close to empty, but I just kept going. One day my husband gently approached me.

“Suzie, you need to fill back up.”

If those who love you the most are noticing, then it’s time to take a pause.

I found a small, affordable rustic cabin not far from home. I put aside technology, ministry, and the things I normally do, and for a weekend, I was alone with God.

When I arrived home, I was renewed.

Jesus depended on prayer often.

“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16 NLT).

By His example, I know that I need this too. While going away to a cabin is amazing, it’s not something I can do on a regular basis. So, I decided to take mini prayer retreats that would fill me up often. To make this happen, I needed to implement 3 things in my life:

  • Intentionality

Do you use a digital calendar? I do. Those pop-up reminders keep me on time and on track. I wanted to be just as intentional with my prayer retreat. This was separate from daily time with Him. It is a special time set apart to fill my soul. Putting it on the calendar reminds me it is just as important as everything else going on in my life

  • Creativity

Our mini prayer retreats can be as creative as we want them to be. One way is to go to the park, or find a bench, and sit quietly in His presence. We can rest in Him as we hear children playing. We can note His creation around us. Nature can offer a sweet mini prayer retreat. For one of my prayer retreats, I drove to a nearby lake with trails. It was quiet and serene. I hiked and soaked in God’s creation, asking God to walk with me.

Another way is to buy a sketch pad and a few paints or markers with vivid colors. It’s soothing to worship as we draw or paint. While you do, ask the Holy Spirit to help you express your needs, your gratitude, and your joy at being His daughter.

Another way to create a mini prayer retreat is to choose a local church or community center open for prayer. I found a community prayer room in my own area. It was amazing to walk into a sanctuary set up and open all day just for those who desire to talk to God.

Host a mini prayer retreat and pray with friends who also love prayer. You can sit in a coffee shop or even fold clothes, seeking God together.

  • Flexibility

Praying is not about a word count. It’s not about what you say or don’t say. It’s simply knowing that you’re thirsty and He offers living water to fill you up. You go with a heart to meet with God, and that’s more than enough. So, allow yourself to be flexible. This is not about trying to follow a checklist of what prayer should look like, but meeting with your Heavenly Father.

Friend, if you’ve found yourself feeling empty, empty, empty, God will fill you up. Whatever your mini prayer retreat looks like, He’ll meet you there and that’s powerful.


Let’s Pray

Jesus, I need You in my busy life. I love talking with You, but the truth is I sometimes put everything on the calendar but You. Thank You for the times ahead where You and I can just talk together. Thank You for filling me up.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Now It’s Your Turn

What might a prayer retreat look like for you?
Consider one mini retreat that works for your real life and put it on the calendar today. I’d love to hear what that looks like!


More from the Girlfriends

Suzie’s brand new book, Prayer Starters: Talking with God About Hard Times is not a book about prayer, but a book to help you connect with God through prayer. Each prayer starter springs from scripture, leading you to encounter Him right where you are.


(As an Amazon Associate, Girlfriends in God earns A SMALL COMMISSION from qualifying purchases using this paid link.)

Suzie is also the host of Prayer Starters, a daily prayer podcast with the KLRC podcast network. Find out more here. You can listen on your favorite podcast platform or at

© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.


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11 Responses to “A Prayer Retreat”

  1. Avatar photo cathy says:

    I begin each morning with a quiet time of gig and the Lord. A glass patio door allows me to observe the sunrise as my day begins. My morning is blessed by peace and calmness to enrich my day!.

  2. Avatar photo Carol says:

    Amen, Suzie.
    I carry my stress to the point where others can see it. Apparently, I’m not a very good actress.
    Had a dear couple of friends notice, on video, and I’m at a church event as a working disciple ( it seems I’m having a “Martha” spell, instead of a “Mary moment” Luke 10: 38-42) They asked about my visible stress, so now,I know I have to work on my retreat skills with God’s help.
    We have a mid-afternoon prayer group at noon. That’s a start!

  3. Avatar photo Diane says:

    I spend time with God each morning, but often am I am often distracted by all the hustle and bustle happening outside my home. Everyday I walk up and down the boardwalk of the beach, but rarely do I get on the sand near the water. I’m going to start having mini retreats sitting on the sand as close to the ocean as I can. There the sound of the waves cancel out all the city noise, especially in these winter months near sunset. Thank you for your reminder to be still with Him.

  4. Avatar photo Suzie Eller says:

    I love this so much!

  5. Avatar photo Suzie Eller says:

    Just show up, sis. No pressure. No expectations other than simply sitting with your Heavenly Father, who loves you like crazy.

  6. Avatar photo Suzie Eller says:

    Ah, that sounds like the best!

  7. Avatar photo Kim V says:

    Oh I love this idea of intentional prayer retreats. I think I will plan one in front of the Christmas tree one night this week when all others go to bed with a paper and pencil and see if words or drawings come forth as I pray.

  8. Avatar photo Eva says:

    Excellent idea!

  9. Avatar photo Kathy says:

    I have been running on fumes lately. These encouraging words are perfectly timed for me! I will definitely seek to find a quiet spot for renewing my mind in Jesus and let Him fill me. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like just yet.

  10. Avatar photo Deb says:

    2 other women and myself taught a Sunday School Class. One day one of the women in the class came up to me and said can I share a prayer request with you. She had been saying unspoken for sometime now and wanted to share with one of us. God worked out every detail of me being the one to share it with. When she shared her request I broke down and cried. You see I was going through the same exact thing. We held each other and bonded immediately. We vowed to pray every week, so we meet once a week now for 3 years in a quiet room in our church. on a wed afternoon. She said that on that day she wasn’t sure who she was going to talk to at the end of class, but God did. We not only have prayed for our situation. but we have formed an amazing friendship which God has blessed over the years. Prayer and time alone with God is essential and life sustaining. Be encouraged ladies.

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