The retreat included testimonies and prayer circles, nature walks and healthy meals, and opportunities to mingle and make new friends. Don’t miss the blessings of another Prayer Retreat. Come next year. 

December 7, 2023

Illinois Prayer Retreat ‘Ignites Spiritual Experiences’

Prayer is powerful. This came through so clearly by speakers Jerry and Janet Page at the annual Illinois Conference Prayer Retreat at Camp Akita from October 13 to 15, 2023.

Jerry and Janet are both passionate about knowing Jesus and seeing His power unleashed through prayer. They retired in June after 12 years with the General Conference. With Jerry as Ministerial Secretary and Janet as Associate Ministerial Secretary for Prayer Ministries and Pastoral Families, they traveled together for the world church. 

At Camp Akita, Jerry and Janet fulfilled the theme, “Ignite Your Spiritual Experience,” by sharing stories of how God led in amazing ways during the twists and turns of their personal lives, including how God brought them together. Many of their experiences clearly exhibited God’s abiding love and direction.  

Their teaching was refreshing. Through stories and scripture, they reminded us to take time to dwell in God’s Word, pray praises along with requests, and talk with Him throughout the day. Building this strong relationship, and taking time to listen, makes it possible to hear God’s voice, feel His guidance through an impression, catch a message through Scripture or even through dreams. He will talk to us.  

They addressed the hard part – sharing with others. By asking God to help plan our own approaching words, and give us courage, it is easier and gets easier each time. If we ask God to put someone in our pathway, it will happen. And always have small tracts to give.  

When a woman asked Janet to be her prayer partner to help her navigate an abusive relationship with her husband, and then asked Janet for advice, Janet answered with one word: Jesus. Be like Jesus. Stop using harsh words toward him, think five positive things about him every day, and praise him for good things. It took a while, a long while, but eventually he asked, “What happened? You’ve changed.” 

The Pages have ministered to people in abusive relationships, in health crises, in spiritual challenges. No matter how much physical or emotional pain, God is there.  So often He turns a trial around to where good things happen. “God never wastes your pain.” He will orchestrate something good, often better, to come from it.  

They emphasized the importance of sharing all burdens with Him, no matter how small. But also to have big visions. Prayer is powerful. Pull your church community together in prayer, and watch God make things happen.  


Testimony of Small Church Receiving Big Answers to Prayer 

One of the most amazing testimonies came from the Stewardson church that only has ten active members. One of the members had a big vision – to have a Christian radio station. Two years ago, another member mentioned it to her cousin who works for Strong Tower Radio in Michigan. He offered to help. With then an estimated cost of $25,000, they began to pray and share the vision with family and friends. This year the cost went up to a whopping $45,000. Prayers continued. In early summer, when $10,000 from the new goal, they received two unexpected large donations. Adding $5,000 from the Illinois Conference, their big dream is about to come true.  Another incredible miracle, the FCC hadn’t had an open radio slot in this area in 10 years -- and then one opened up.  It’s all in God’s timing.

For Ivys Ramirez, this retreat was “a mountaintop experience.”  

Sandee Siddel was reminded not to ever give up – sometimes answers to prayer take a long time, even years.  

“Prayer is incredible, prayer is powerful,” explained Cheryl Frieze. “To come together is an amazing thing. With Jesus, amazing things can happen.”  

“When we pray, don’t always pray alone. Come together in a community of people. God can speak to us through others,” Dan Joyce learned. 

Other key takeaways mentioned by those in attendance: 

  • Don’t skimp on your time with God. Be unrushed. Carve out special time for daily Bible study and prayer.   

  • Take time to listen. God speaks back in many different ways. God knows when the time is right.  

  • Ask God to impress you with what to pray specifically for an individual.  

  • A strong prayer life provides power and is vital to give God access. 

  • Always include praises, even when life is not going well. And give thanks for things you dislike. Trials can turn you to God.  

The retreat included testimonies and prayer circles, nature walks and healthy meals, and opportunities to mingle and make new friends. Don’t miss the blessings of another Prayer Retreat. Come next year.  

When the Illinois invitation arrived, Jerry was delighted with the opportunity to return to Illinois where he started his pastoral ministry 40 years ago. Jerry and Janet are parents to two grown married sons and grandparents to six grandchildren. They now live in California where they responded to a request to “come and help” with their three youngest grandchildren.  

Dorothy Deer is a freelance writer and photographer from Warrenville, Illinois