Reported by Tan Lay Leng
A silent retreat is intentionally drawing away from the busyness and the routines of life and the competing voices of others demanding our attention and intentionally drawing near to God in silence for the purpose of hearing from Him.
The Silent Retreat has become an integral part of the MAP (Mentoring Aligning Process) journey. Over the weekend 8 to 10 January, those who are part of the MAP journey, we endearingly call them MAPpers, retreated into silence and they heard God speak loudly.
Ps Susheel, who oversees MAP, says that the Silent Retreat for MAP serves two more functions. It allows space and time for the Holy Spirit to surface and deal with the MAPpers’ misalignments in preparing them for upcoming assignments or enabling them to do current assignments better. It also allows space and time for them to seek God concerning their assignments.
I had the privilege to read several MAPpers’ reflections. Esther shared how the Lord was pointing her back to being part of a community of disciples again after some time of being on her own. As for Sally, the Lord had shown her how she often “plans and then prays” and invited her to “pray and then plan”.
Confessing to be a perfectionist, Sandy started the retreat asking God to confirm her assignment. She left the retreat understanding that she must first align herself with the Holy Spirit. “For without Him, I can accomplish nothing. He reminded that I shall go forth partnering the Holy Spirit, be led, be filled and be aligned!” Sandy wrote.
It is also encouraging to read Doris’ authentic reflections that in her parenting and fostering journeys, she had given in to the flesh again and again. At the retreat, she recalled her feelings of anger, frustration and lack of love. She remembered her prayers of exasperation and complaints to God. God showed her how she needed to align to Him. She expressed it well, “It was not a new understanding or a ‘wow’ revelation, but it was a renewed conviction and commitment for me to fully surrender to God.”
Jesus’ invitation “Follow Me’ was especially significant for Benny who asked God how he could love his family from the heart, and not just mere knowledge. God had reminded him from 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and kind… ” and he was convicted he had not been a loving person to his family members. God will surely walk with Benny in his journey of showing His love from the heart. Yeen Peng also received assurance from God how He will walk with her and empower her as she faces challenges on her kingdom assignment.
As Pastor Henson summed up at the end, these would be the ‘wow’ moments that would sustain us as we walk in obedience and faith with Jesus. While MAPpers had entered the silent retreat with different expectations and mindsets, they had gone away aligned, refined, empowered or assigned for the glory of God.