I had the opportunity to attend a prayer retreat this past week at the Benedictine Abbey in Atchison, Kansas. The original plan was for four colleagues to gather in a spiritual retreat using some of the Abbey’s facilities. But due to the weather the other three friends couldn’t make it. I would have then headed home but the same weather systems that went through the area kept me from heading home. So what started as a group retreat turned into a private retreat. I spent the time studying and attending three times of prayer with the monks at the Abbey.
At first I felt impatient with being pinned down by the weather. But as I attended prayer with the the monks I noticed some things about the wonderful atmosphere of the prayer times. The residents of the monastery keep the same prayer times week after week and year after year. I noticed that though I am sure they’d said the same prayer hundreds of times they prayed with deliberate but intense patience and cadence. They were never in a hurry. The prayer time never dragged but it was never rushed. It was clear that prayer was a deep part of their lives. Those times of prayer and eating meals with the monks this week was a gift from God!
This caused me to think that being snowed in allowed me to learn some things about letting go and letting God be in charge. It also is a good reminder of the value of regular and serious prayer as a focus of our walk with Christ.