Last weekend I had the blessing of attending The Ladies’ Prayer Advance in Roanoke, Virginia. This event is like a “ladies’ retreat” in that it is a weekend away. However, it’s called an Advance because the whole purpose is to encourage women to move forward in their walk with God.
Sometimes we need a couple of days to rest, move slowly as we talk to God and spend time alone with Him, but then there are other times when we need someone to put their hand in the middle of our back, so to speak, and help us move closer to God through:
- Bible preaching in general sessions
- Biblical teaching in Break-out sessions
- Times of corporate prayer
- Times of individual prayer
It is absolutely wonderful. It’s the best kind of tired you can feel! To have heard God’s Word taught or preached seven times in those two and half days is powerful. To spend time alone in prayer is convicting. To pray with your prayer group several times is better than I can even describe. The closeness that it brings is a special blessing that only the Spirit of God could do.
The break-out sessions allow each woman to choose topics that speak to her heart. Abuse, contentment, depression, marriage, unanswered prayer, and overwhelming situations were some of the subjects addressed.
This is an exhausting weekend. There are no shopping adventures. No hours of rest between sessions. No extra activities are planned. Does it sound boring? It’s anything but that! Does this mean we don’t have fun? Hardly. When you get right with God, you also are the happiest and you are also a blessing to those around you! Our group had wonderful, sweet fellowship, laughter, tears and unity. It was precious!
Every year we make it a point to go to a fun place called Elderberry’s for lunch. They have a TON of different wraps and a MILLION different smoothies to choose from.
This year we ended our time at the Ladies’ Prayer Advance by sharing lunch together here before we had one last time of prayer and headed home…completely physically exhausted, but absolutely, wonderfully refreshed spiritually!!
Attending conferences like this is a huge sacrifice of each ladies’ time, but we all need it if we truly desire to advance in our relationship with the Lord. Do you make sure to find a time or two each year to spend away at conferences like this so you can be challenged and renewed spiritually? It’s really helpful if you are longing to advance!
Next year’s Ladies’ Prayer Advance is being held March 21-23 in Roanoke, VA. Perhaps you would consider joining the more than 500 that were there this year? You can find information here.
I will also be attending a Ladies’ Retreat this month in North Carolina at The Wilds. I’m excited about this special weekend as well. You can find information here and can also register on-line. You can’t go to The Wilds and not receive a blessing!!
Take time out to refresh and advance! You’ll be so glad you did!
Years ago one of my girls sent me a text message from their college dorm room. It read –
“I’m so ready to be done with dorm life! Someone is singing at the top of their lungs in the shower!”
Not everyone is a morning person who can sing first thing in the morning. Though I’d consider myself a morning person, I need about an hour of quiet before I’m ready for sounds above a whisper. However, whoever the girl in the shower was, she had a song in her heart first thing in the morning!
Proverbs 29:6 says,
“In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare:
but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.”
The implication of that verse is that if there is sin in our hearts we will lose our song. Because we’re caught in the snare of our transgression, there’s no reason to rejoice. Is there a song in your heart at this moment? Do people irritate you quickly? Is there a nagging restlessness within you? I’m not asking if you’re a morning person, I’m talking about the majority of the day – are you singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord?
Obviously if a person hasn’t asked Christ to be their Savior, there’s still a void in their life and there’s no song. But if you’re God’s child because you’ve received Christ, there should be singing and rejoicing. Even in the midst of trials the song is there. It’s quiet, but it’s there.
If you’re song is gone, look for the reason. Sin is probably at the door. Confess it. Call it what God calls it. Don’t smooth it over. God knows what it is, so name it.
Was it worry?
Repent of it and know the joy that comes from having it out of your heart, and then replaced by the sweet song of the redeemed!
Eddie Long, Josh’s father – It was the hardest night of my life, walking that beach, knowing that my son and Troy were out there somewhere. It was cold, and the waves picked up.
Josh – We were soaking wet, clinging to each other, trying to keep warm. We’d doze off, but the waves kept crashing into the boat, washing over us, so we couldn’t ever get to sleep.
Josh – Something about Saturday morning was different. When the sun came up, it was a beautiful color. I saw a rainbow off to the left, and there were dolphins playing all around the boat. Later that day two fishermen spotted something distant in the water.
During their ordeal Long lost 30 lbs. and Driscoll was hospitalized for three days for second-degree burns on his face and feet.
Driscoll – I’ll go out again fishing, for sure—in a boat with two motors.
Drifting takes place a little at a time. If you can still detect the shoreline, row back home before you find yourself in dangerous waters. There’s a huge Sunday to enjoy with others who will rejoice at your tender heart and your safe return!
Isaiah 43:1,2 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.