How to Have a DIY One-Day Personal Prayer Retreat

Ever felt the urge to retreat from all your responsibilities and let the world go on without you? Are you overworked, overwhelmed or over committed?

We are made to need rest and connection with God through prayer… but busy seasons can prevent us from getting the down time we need.  I love how Jesus would “often withdrew to lonely places and pray.” (Luke 5:16). And He was busy!!

It’s okay…even essential… to drown out the noise of a demanding and hectic world and simply meet with God.  The balance we crave can only be restored with fellowship from the Creator, the one who loves us despite our bad attitudes and rushed frenzy.

While it’s probably impossible to clear your schedule for a week to catch your breath, there are other ways we can press pause on the chaos. One idea I love is the DIY One – Day Personal Prayer Retreat.  While the process is simple, the effects can ripple into all aspects of life and lead to lasting change.

How to Have a DIY One Day Personal Prayer Retreat

Do you need to press pause on the chaos in your life? Learn the benefits of a personal prayer retreat and how to plan your one day personal prayer retreat.

The benefits of a prayer retreat

If your soul is like mine, craving fellowship with the One True God, then a personal retreat will help you regain focus and leave you refreshed.

So often we’re duped and believe the lie that the more we accomplish, the better woman we are to all in our path. Another common misconception is that it’s selfish for a woman to seek solitude and focus on herself. But friend, you’re not superwoman, and you were never designed to carry the burdens of life alone.

Even Jesus sought solitude from the masses and spent time in prayer.  It’s noted several times throughout Scripture that Jesus took time out of His busy schedule to commune with God.  Shouldn’t you, too?

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.” Mark 1:35

“And He (Jesus) withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed.” Luke 22: 41

A DIY Personal Prayer Retreat will help you:

  • Reflect on the current state of your life and heart
  • Reconnect with God and seek His will for your life
  • Recharge your weary soul
  • Regroup and make adjustments to your life as needed

Where should I plan my retreat?

Simply carve out a day or several hours by yourself to spend quietly before the Lord.  When choosing a venue for your day of reflection, consider a retreat center, park, hotel or even a quiet room in a friend or family’s home. Someplace simple, quiet, convenient and cost-effective will be the perfect venue to still your heart and focus on the Lord.

If you

What should I do on my retreat?

While the personal choice is up to you,  focus on activities that quiet your soul and recenter your heart on the Lord. Here are some prayer retreat ideas:

  • Reading the Bible
  • Working through a devotional
  • Praying
  • Journaling a favorite Scripture or Christian song
  • Resting (yes, it’s ok to nap for a bit on your retreat!)
  • Worshiping through song, art or dance
  • Exploring nature as you pray
  • Writing
  • Reflecting on the current state of your life and heart
  • Reading a Christian book

Since this is your retreat, you can map out your day however you wish!  Don’t be afraid to sit in solitude and let the Holy Spirit direct your time. If you prefer a more structured time, create a loose schedule of your favorite personal retreat ideas.

>>>>> FREEBIE ALERT!  <<<<<<

Download our FREE One-Day Spiritual Retreat Schedule Here!


What materials do I need?

What materials you choose to bring will depend on what prayer retreat activities you plan.  You may wish to include:

  • A Bible
  • Writing utensils and art supplies- pens, pencils, paper, markers, gel pens and more
  • Paper and/or journal
  • The printable prayer retreat guide found here
  • Drinks and food (if you’re not at a venue where food is served)

Is it best to “unplug”?

Since the goal of the retreat is to get away from daily life and the trappings of this world, I recommend that you do your best to have an unplugged day.  If you prefer to bring your phone in case of an emergency, leave it on vibrate and practice the self-control needed to stay off social media. Also, if you love to write, bringing a laptop may be something to consider, but again, try to stay off social media.  You’ll appreciate a day spent completely focused on the Lord without distractions.

What should I expect at the end of the day?

Hopefully by the time you’ve finished your retreat, you have had the chance to rest in the presence of the Lord and focus your heart on Him.  While there’s no way to predict how your time will go, keeping realistic expectations before you begin will guard your heart if you don’t have a “mountain top” experience.  But if at the end of the day, your goal should be to pray and leave spiritually refreshed.

I challenge you to grab your calendar and in the next 24 hours, schedule a DIY One Day Personal Prayer Retreat within the next month. There’s no better gift to your family or to yourself than a refreshed soul and a renewed spirit!  Feel free to use our prayer retreat program. Enjoy!

Other Resources You Might Find Useful:

Use this list of 25 Scriptures to Pray on your retreat.
Praying the Promises of God is also a great way to start your prayer retreat.


How to have a Personal Prayer Retreat

How do you renew your spiritual life during a busy season?  What would be your favorite aspects of a personal retreat? 

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  1. I love this idea! It’s something I’ve not done before, though I do try to spend some time with the Lord each day – either first thing in the morning before the kids get up, or in the afternoon when they’re napping. It’s been a wonderful thing for spiritual growth, but an entire day would be even better!

  2. Thank you for supplying some ideas for what to do on a personal prayer retreat such as reading the bible, exploring nature as you pray, and writing. My father wants me to go on a Christian retreat with him in the spring, but I’ve never gone on one, so I’m a little nervous. I’ll be sure to keep these tips in mind and maybe practice before my father finds a retreat for us to go to.

  3. Great info, I read quite a bit of your posts. I really like the “Daily Retreat!” You’ve provided such good information, it’s a blessing to me to see other saints furthering God’s kingdom!

  4. I would add an expectation: Expect Satan to oppose you. He will hate this idea (which is a good thing!) and not only will try to oppose us doing it and distract us during it, but most often I am hit the hardest when I “come down from the mountain”, similar to Jesus being confronted by crowds, a disappointed father, and a destructive demon possessing a boy when He came down from the mountain after His transfiguration (Mt 17, Mk 9, Lk 9). When I was a teen, the worst week of my year was always the week after church camp as Satan tried to combat my newfound focus and enthusiasm. Satan likes to try to discourage me the very moment after I’ve received God’s encouragement. Praying against this and learning to expect it help me not be caught off guard and knocked for a loop. Asking friends to pray on my behalf is powerful too. Praying God protects all you, my sisters, from the schemes of the devil! God is waaaay stronger & turns all of Satan’s schemes on his head!

  5. I was thinking of having a retreat next week, when I have my birthday. Just this morning I thought I should check the internet for ideas for a retreat, and then your email, with the link to this post, arrived in my inbox. Thank you so much for the freebie!

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