Reported by Dr. Maxine Newell, Health Ministries Leader, AIU Church 

“By His Spirit” Prayer Retreat ran from Thursday evening at 7pm until after lunch on Sunday afternoon (October 12-15).  It was a powerful mixture of talks/workshops, united prayer and prayer walks. The main speakers were Pastor Benjamin Kip, Dr. Ronald Robin and Dr. Jan Cabungcal, who challenged us to move to higher spiritual ground and be completely surrendered to our loving God. 

For some, this was the first experience of both united prayer and prayer walks. As we prayed in a large group or in smaller groups, we were encouraged by the praises, confessions, supplications and thanksgiving of those we prayed with. Many experienced the phenomenon described by Mrs. White of prayer lifting us up to God. We had many high moments. As we did prayer walks guided by the narratives of Bible stories, elements of the stories were brought to life, and prayers became deeper and “more real.” 

Sabbath afternoon we did a prayer walk around campus. God was petitioned for Asia-Pacific International University. Faculty, and staff, students and administrators were all lifted up and we anticipate many blessings as a result. 

It is impossible to mention all that took place, but we were blessed by testimonies and special music peppered throughout the four days. Sabbath, however, was an opportunity for the wider university family to share in the blessings that came through Drs. Cobungcal and Robin as they spoke about Addiction in Sabbath School and “He is Able” for Divine Service. Both doctors have left their professional field to be workers in God’s vineyard as evangelists for Adventist World Radio.  They inspired us to give God our all, to lay down our plans and surrender to God’s plan for our lives. 

The final charge for the retreat was to move forward and take prayer retreats to our respective churches/communities shifting them from annual events to a regular part of our church lives. Thank you for the charge, Dr. Robin. Thanks also should go to the organizers: A collaboration between Adventist World Radio, ASAP Ministries, Music Verse 24/7 United Prayer and Adventist Youth Ministries. We moved from the mountaintop down to the valley to serve. 

Gems from Various Speakers of the Prayer Retreat

  • “Going to McDonald’s does not make you McDonald, equally, going to church does not make you a Christian.” 
  • “We cannot extract love from God.  If we want love, we want God.” 
  • “We cannot get tired of praying for something God has promised He will do.” 
  • “We do not have forever to seek the Lord.  There is a time when He will step away from His intercessory work. Respond to Isaiah’s invitation in 55:6 to seek the Lord while He may be found. Prayer is not to get things but to get God himself.” 
  • “Each time God wakes me, He invites the pain of rejection. We were brought into existence because we were needed and after the destruction of the lake of fire, those who die will still be needed in God’s heart.” 
  • “God needs me. Satan uses me.” 
  • “The purpose of prophecy is to help us prepare and to help others prepare. If God can change a prostitute (Rahab) into a preacher, who told you God cannot change you?”  
  • “We cannot procrastinate surrendering to Jesus: If the Devil has controlled you for long enough, he will control you forever.”