Prayer is essential, because it is through prayer that you and I communicate with our Heavenly Father. There are countless decisions to be made, wisdom to be sought, resources that are needed, transgressions to be mended, love and appreciation to be communicated. Therefore, we need to talk with and listen to our Heavenly Father. This is prayer.
The disciples had to be careful, lest they become so occupied with serving God that they neglect … prayer, which is communicating with Him.
(adapted from “Lord,Teach Me to Prayer in 28 Days” by Kay Arthur, p.6)
Although the entire day can in a very true sense be considered a time of prayer, the day itself is best divided into certain periods. First of all, there are distinct periods of prayer during which the retreatant directly opens herself to God while praying over certain material… The actual scheduling of these periods are left up to the retreatant.
In prayer we do seek to become more aware of our inner selves and become more sensitive to what God is communicating of Himself and His love. In a (silent) retreat experience, where so much time is given to prayer, this dynamic is intensified. The prayer experience of the individual, then, involves both the aspect of listening and the aspect of responding.
In brief, it involves the processes of seeking to clarify and to discern God’s will, then to seek to respond generously.
Participating in this type retreat, doesn’t mean, of course, that the retreatant has been spending a lot of time in prayer in the past or that any particular level of prayer has already been reached. Some might even feel that they have been away from any serious prayer for some time and need to start all over again. But it does mean that a person wants to give herself generously to prayer and to dispose herself as well as possible to prayer.
(adapted from an article by Charles J. Healey,S.J.)