Jesus “often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed”
(Luke 5:15). We believe that He was showing us a pattern
for living that would become important for us, as we attempt
to walk with God as Christians. Withdrawing into the
wilderness is a part of being a follower of Jesus. As Brad
Long and I wrote in our book, Prayer That Shapes the Future,
many of the greatest leaders of Western history have
discovered this pattern and practiced it
(as historian Arnold Toynbee wrote).
One of the goals at The Clearing, therefore, is to provide a
place where people can follow Jesus out into the wilderness
for a time of communion with God. Without such times planned
into our schedules, we can become so confused and lost,
we don’t know which way is up. The spiritual vision that
gives eternal meaning to our existence is lost in a barrage
of detail. The deceit of the spirit of the age takes over,
and we lose our way.
Come! Get into the clear with God!
THE UPPER ROOM
Eventually, we hope to offer our guests several facilities as guesthouse facilities. As for now, we have only one: the Upper Room. It is actually a suite of rooms, an upstairs apartment with a bedroom, sitting room, dining room and bath (with a shower). We offer this space on a first-come first-served basis (that is, to the first one who signs up for it for a particular period). There is no set fee; we offer this space for prayer retreats on a donation basis.
Those who come should be aware of the following:
- We do not serve meals. Bring your own food, or else fast. There is a small fridge and a microwave in the dining area.
- We provide bottled water because the well that serves the Upper Room is a shallow well. If you wish, bring your own drinking water.
- There is no TV and no telephone outlet, because these are a distraction in a prayer retreat.
- There are no handicapped facilities.
- What we do have, though, is extraordinary beauty, peace, quiet, starry heavens, solitude, simplicity, and a place where you will be left alone, unless you want conversation. The apartment is full of prayer helps if you want them, supplemented by a network of insect-proof prayer stations of incredible beauty.
- Maximum stay is five days. If you need an exception, ask for it, but it cannot be guaranteed.
- Where possible, we give precedence to people in full-time ministry. We encourage pastors to seek direction from God for their ministries.
- Though we are a remote location, most cell-phones do operate well here. (However, we encourage guests to turn them off!)
- We also offer space for group retreats for churches and Christian groups in Central Virginia. Please Contact Us if we could serve you in this way. We specialize in hosting groups for prayer. Prayer is what we are all about. Maximum group size would be 20.