Invitation to Retreat

The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God

Transforming Resources

by Ruth Haley Barton

Invitation to Retreat
  • Length: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: September 2018
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4646-7
  • Item Code: 4646

"Come away and rest awhile."

Jesus invites us to be with him, offering our full and undivided attention to him. When we choose retreat, we make a generous investment in our friendship with Christ. We are not always generous with ourselves where God is concerned. Many of us have tried to incorporate regular times of solitude and silence into the rhythm of our ordinary lives, which may mean that we give God twenty minutes here and half an hour there. And there’s no question we are better for it! But we need more. Indeed, we long for more.

In these pages Transforming Center founder and seasoned spiritual director Ruth Haley Barton gently leads us into retreat as a key practice that opens us to God. Based on her own practice and her experience leading hundreds of retreats for others, she will guide you in a very personal exploration of seven specific invitations contained within the general invitation to retreat. You will discover how to say yes to God's winsome invitation to greater freedom and surrender.

There has never been a time when the invitation to retreat is so radical and so relevant, so needed and so welcome. It is not a luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual life.


Introduction: Invitation to Retreat
1. Strategic Withdrawal
2. Just Flop Down
3. The Sources of Our Exhaustion
4. Finding Your Rhythm on Retreat
5. Sweet Hours of Prayer
6. Letting Go of Your Grip
7. Relinquishing False-Self Patterns
8. Space for Discernment
9. Invitation to Recalibrate
10. Finding Spiritual Freedom
11. Remember the Signs
12. In Returning and Rest You Shall Be Saved
Appendix 1: Fixed-Hour Prayer
Appendix 2: Planning Your Retreat


Ruth Haley Barton (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Seminary) is founding president/CEO of the Transforming Center, a ministry dedicated to strengthening the souls of pastors and Christian leaders, and the congregations and organizations they serve. For over twenty years, she has ministered to the soul care needs of pastors and leaders based upon her conviction that the best thing we bring to leadership is our own transforming selves.

Trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Institute for Pastoral Studies Loyola University Chicago, Ruth is a seasoned retreat leader and spiritual director. A sought-after speaker and preacher, she has served on the pastoral staff of several churches and teaches frequently at seminaries and graduate schools.

Ruth is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life, including Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Sacred Rhythms, Longing for More, Pursuing God's Will Together, and Life Together in Christ. She continues to share her thoughts and perspectives on soulful leadership through an online resource called eReflections as well as a podcast entitled Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.

Follow the Transforming Center on Twitter at @TransformingCnt.

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