While early in my discipleship/leadership training days as a young youth pastor, I was taught the Sabbath pattern of diverting daily, withdrawing weekly, getting away monthly, and retreating annually. Upon learning the pattern, I attempted to live it out as prescribed. I became quite successful with the divert daily pattern and have always done a pretty good job of the annual retreat, but it was really the weekly withdrawing and monthly getting away that were my struggles.
Fortunately, I was discipled formally through Navigators 2:7 discipleship material. One of the prayer disciplines the material helped develop was a pattern of spending a half day or whole day in prayer. The basic structure of the time is as follows:
1. Waiting on God
a. Realizing His presence
b. Being Cleansed
c. Worshiping Him
2. Praying for Others
a. Specific Asks
b. Using Paul’s Prayers
c. Praying for Others as You Would Pray for Yourself
3. Praying for Yourself
a. Wisdom and Guidance
c. Concerns and needs
*Adopted from “The 2:&7 Series” Course One, The Growing Disciple, NavPress, 1987.
While never as often as I like, I have found a true pattern of staying deeply acquainted with God in the craziest of ministry days through exploring and developing this discipline. As E.M. Bounds has said, “God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow His gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer. To be much alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of influence with Him.”
May you develop your pattern of weekly withdrawing and monthly getting away to rediscover your acquaintance with Him.