Benefits of Spiritual Retreat
Many and blessed are the benefits you can attain from sitting with the Lord alone on a daily basis. From these benefits
First: The spiritual nourishment:
Just as the flesh needs food to grow, likewise the spirit needs the word of God and prayer as food for the spiritual growth. Therefore our glorious Lord Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew4:4)
Prayer is another source of spiritual nourishment, St Augustine as he experienced it wrote: “The flesh cannot stay alive without food, likewise prayer is the spirit’s food and its life”.
It is not concealed that the spiritual nourishment is vital for the spiritual growth and as such, the believer should always be growing as commanded “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2Pet 3:18).
Spiritual nourishment is therefore a necessity for the believer, as mentionedby our teacher Saint Peter the Apostle “…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word (the Word of God), that you may grow thereby…”
The reality is that the believer who longs for God’s words proves in practicality that he grows spiritually. St. John Chrysostom points to this saying: “Whenever I see your fervent desire and longing for the spiritual bread; that is the Word of God, it becomes apparent to me that you are growing in the virtue.For as we determine that the body is in good health as we see it being nourished with cheer and gladness, likewise your hunger for the words. God can clearly see your soul’s well preparedness and its full health.”
Second: God’s Partnership:
O what privilege for the believer from the rest of the creation that God Himself shares his life, walks with him, faces his troubles, guides him and counsels him. This great privilege was illustrated by Moses the prophet saying: “For how then will it be known that your people and I have found grace in your sight, except you go with us? So we shall be separate, your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33:16)
So during the spiritual quiet time, the believer presents to God his thoughts and worries and situations. The believer involves God in them till He guides him with His wisdom. David the prophet said: “Cause me to hear your loving-kindness in the morning, for in you do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you.” (Psalm 143:8)
Since this was David’s supplication to the Lord, the Lord’s response was: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8)
Third: Fortification against the strikes of the Devil:
No doubt that the believer is weak in himself, as David said: “Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak;” (Psalm 6:2) Also as St. Paul the Apostle said, “If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.” (2Cor 11:30)
Also undoubtedly, our adversary is wicked and strong as pointed by St. Peter the Apostle: “Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8)
Therefore the believer is in great need to be attached to the Lord and spend time alone with Him, so he may receive an inner strength and so that God may fortify him against the devil’s blows. And of that, St. Paul said: “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9)
Christ’s strength is bestowed through prayer to support the believer with the Spirit in his inner person (Eph 3:16). And through God’s words, the believer puts on a strong weapon “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph 6:17)Through this weapon, the Lord has pierced the devil on the mountain where the Lord was tried three times (Matt 4:1-11) and so He showed us the way of victory.
These are some of the benefits of the spiritual quiet time; as it is a spiritual nourishment for growth and an opportunity to partner with the Lord and a means to fortify oneself against the adversary.