Purpose and Power of the 3 Days in His Presence Movement
What a joy when a son or daughter discovers the balance of prayer and action! It is not just an easy, quickly learned discipline! It is a daily dance with the Holy Spirit learning the voice of God, being flexible, and growing into sweet sonship knowing when something is the “Father’s responsibility” and when something is our responsibility. This is called “division of labor” which I will speak more on in future articles.
Many years ago, early in ministry with the help of my mentor Sunday Adelaja, I began to discover the power of taking secluded time away for prayer and fellowship with God. I actually would go away for no less than 3 days every month, and, in fact, I still do! These monthly prayer retreats became absolutely vital to my life and ministry for various reasons. In fact, it eventually became something I led our church (The Embassy) through on a yearly basis. We also teach this concept in our History Makers 3 Day Transformation training, helping others to grow in this discipline. I am often asked this question. “What do you actually do on a 3 day prayer retreat?”
Well, first of all it is important to understand WHY a retreat like this is important and so powerful:
- Over a period of 3 or more days, you are able to build up “spiritual momentum” and get breakthroughs and insight that you wouldn’t normally get in a short daily devotional time. Over the 3 days you have a concentrated time in a heavenly environment. That time spent changes you. You are there long enough to really hear from God clearly and also let His Presence transform you.
- You are able to have undisturbed time to catch up on your reading, study, and prayer petitions.
- Through quiet time of self and ministry evaluation you are able to hear clearly from God because you are not distracted by your ministry responsibilities or daily activities and people, and so on.
- You are able to catch up on lost sleep, rest, and mental rest during this time without feeling guilty or rushed to get up and get to work.
- You have time to contemplate, dream, imagine, and just sit. This is very powerful when it comes to slowing down enough to get the best ideas from the Holy Spirit. This is where creative strategy comes from, including ideas that give birth to manifestations of His Kingdom on earth. Generally, in our busy day to day we don’t have the opportunity to get our best ideas easily, or we do not have the insight to solve problems and create solutions.
- During this time we have the opportunity to fast (from food, media, work, etc.); to grow in authority; and to receive anointing for power to do exploits in our life and ministry when we come down from the mountain. We have the opportunity, as we bask in a heavenly spiritually charged environment, to become more like Jesus. As we spend time beholding Him, we can become like Him.
- One of the greatest reasons to have a prayer retreat like this is to refocus our direction and receive STRATEGY from heaven. This is an opportunity to not just beg God to act on our behalf on earth! Anyone who prays those kinds of prayers will find themselves tired, and questioning the need to be away for 3 days or more! No, it is an opportunity to seek God to “hear and see what the Father is doing” just like Jesus did. This is a time to see the strategy that God would use if He were in your shoes on earth! This is very powerful. As God begins to give you ideas of how to restructure your business or your ministry or how to get breakthroughs, you can write down these strategies and then execute them when you return to your daily life.
For years I practiced this discipline and almost everything our ministry implemented at the Embassy was a success and became a blessing to the whole church. This is because…
“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” – Psalms 127:1
Through praying to “see and hear” you can then execute and God begins to build through you in the earthly realm. In fact, these days, I try to do nothing in ministry unless I have first seen it as a strategy from our Heavenly Father. Only then is it safe to implement it on earth, knowing and being fully assured that what you have built is blessed and will prosper. Within a few years of holding monthly personal prayer retreats, the Lord spoke to me about leading our church in a “3 Days in His Presence” event. Of course, this was not the church body as individuals taking 3 days away, but rather, that we would gather at the church corporately for the day and do it together. The schedule was actually quite aggressive with each day beginning at 9:00am and going until 3:00pm, resuming again at 6:00pm and going until 10:00pm that night! We had a “break” between 3:00pm and 6:00pm for people to go home and rest or do a few of their own personal activities or responsibilities.
Each day had a very STRATEGIC schedule and choreography to it. In fact, it was very difficult to lead Canadian Christians in such a lengthy time of prayer without this choreography. As much as we want to sometimes just have a loose schedule relying on Holy Spirit, I quickly realized, as good as it sounded in theory, it didn’t always work well. This was no reflection on the desire of the Lord to show up, but rather, a reflection of our human and cultural conditioning. With this strategic choreography, it was actually possible to lead a body of people, many of whom were immature in their prayer disciplines, to pray and seek God beyond the boundary of the flesh. This produced an extraordinary result in our church and beyond!
This 3 Days in His Presence Event became the highlight of the year for our church. Many people would actually use some of their work vacation days to be free from their jobs to come and spend every day in the Presence of God. Each day was filled with praise, worship, a word, and very powerful prayer and intercession time. We made juice, coffee, and fruit available in the lobby as this was also a time of fasting. Individuals received breakthroughs in their personal lives, families, and businesses or ministries. Breakthroughs they had been personally seeking God for for years! What is very important to note though, is that, as our church made this event a priority each year, God began to give us the victory against the power of the enemy on a regular basis. We received strategy of how to administrate aspects of church life, and strategies on how to go beyond the four walls of the church to reach the harvest.
However, I should note that when we, with good intentions and pure hearts, began to slide into a more conference style event did we begin to notice a decline in the prayer priority and effectiveness of our church Body.
I personally, now believe, that regular prayer systems like this one should be implemented in every church for maximum effectiveness in every area. In fact, the Lord told me that one day this would become a national movement in Canada and that many churches would implement this concept and some already are. Praise God!
I believe that a church is not really an apostolic centre or, at least, will not be able to become one, without implementing systems of prayer. To overcome the power of the enemy, to deal with the Strongman in regions and cities, and to receive strategy from heaven for the harvest, every church needs a strategic undercurrent of corporate prayer and fasting. This may already be second nature for the Body of Christ in some countries, but it is necessary in North America for sure, in this hour.
Again, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of praying for the purpose of receiving STRATEGY from heaven and then implementing it. Just crying out to God, as if revival was His problem, is not necessarily the answer. If you have cried out to God for a lengthy period of time, it does not mean your work is done, or, that now God owes us a great deliverance. Prayer is not a form of penance. As I have said in earlier articles, the Body of Christ in some nations prays longer and harder than we do, yet their nations still suffer systemic poverty, corruption, and a myriad of other issues. The power of prayer is in our ability to do like Jesus and to “see and hear what the Father is saying and doing” and then, LEAVING our prayer closet, to implement. Only as we struggle to walk it out should we major on calling on God for divine intervention and assistance from heaven! The combination of both is powerful on earth! As Rob Parker says, “prayerful action” is the key.
I encourage every church in our nation to adopt and initiate prayer strategies that keep the forces of darkness at bay, and mobilize people to reach the harvest and transform society!
For more information on how you or your church can create a prayer strategy like this one please contact us at [email protected] We would love to assist you!
For the strength of Canada…
Pastor Derek Schneider
President of History Makers Academy
Founder of History Makers Society