Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Your best packing preparation tip is not, “Remember your towel” or “Roll your t-shirts to save room.” Your best packing prep tip is probably, “Pray.”
Tonight, we will be taking a few testimonies and comments about things you’ve learned about prayer, Bible verses that have helped you, and more… all on the topic of prayer and camp. Like I said on Sunday, camp is a week of preaching—God speaking to you through His Word. Have you talked to Him yet? He wants to hear from you as much as He wants to talk with you.
So tonight, we want to take some time to pray. Almost every morning in my office or when I’m out doing yard work I try to reflect a while and speak to God, asking Him to help me, grow me, change me, challenge me, stretch me, teach me and help me help others. I hope you have prayed this week.
CAMP – This Monday – Saturday. Meet at the church at 7am. You can make it in one suitcase, right? J
Perhaps you could email Pastor Goetsch and let him know you’re praying for him. Just a thought. [email protected] You could even email him tonight while you’re thinking about it if you have email set up on your phone.
Tonight, like we learned from our Daniel series, let’s pray kind of like this:
- Humble yourself. Daniel was a world leader – almost no one was as powerful as him. Yet he came to God in humility. He wasn’t arrogant or pushy. He was low and expressed to God that he didn’t deserve any of God’s blessings. Do you come to God as if He owes you something? Or do you just love God and want to be in His presence?
- Confess your sin. Daniel spent time confessing his people’s sins. He confessed their self-sufficiency and their disregard for God’s commandments. He was broken over not only his sin, but the sins of his people. How long has it been since you were broken over your sin? Not just getting caught and saying a little, “sorry.” I’m talking about a true repentance.
- Ask God to forgive. If you’re specific with your confession, God obligates Himself to forgive your sin. He’s not going to drag it up before you if you were serious about turning it over to Him. He WILL forgive you because He said he would! Amen! Just ask His forgiveness and then drop it! Leave it there.
- Ask God’s help. “Oh Lord, hear. Oh Lord, forgive. Oh Lord, hearken, and do. Defer not, for thine own name’s sake…” Dan. 9:19. I LOVED that verse when we were in that series. With a clean slate before God, ask Him to help you. He wants to. He will. I’ve been at this place for camp before and thought, “I AM right with God. I’m not sure what I need help in.” And I meant it sincerely. But I found that as long as I was open and honestly seeking God, He would always show me areas I could grow in. Sometimes it came through preaching. Sometimes through my youth pastor or counselor. Sometimes through my devotions or friends. But He always helped me when I sought His help.
With that kind of open and sincere spirit, let’s ask God for things like:
- Speak to Pastor Goetsch. First, ask God to be working on Pastor Goetsch’s heart.
- Speak through Pastor Goetsch. After speaking TO Pastor Goetsch, ask God to speak through His messenger to you.
- Lead my counselor. God has already placed you in a certain cabin with a certain counselor who is there all week to help you grow spiritually. Ask God to use your counselor in your life.
- Help my cabinmates. Sometimes an unsaved person in your cabin can make a lot of trouble for a lot of people. He or she can have an infectious spirit. Don’t let that ruin YOUR spirit. Ask God to give you a good cabin.
- Help me be a blessing to my cabin. Whether you have a good cabin or a troubled one, choose now to pray for God to help you be a help in the cabin… not to just go with the flow. SET the spirit, don’t just go with the spirit that’s there. If it’s bad, change it. If it’s good, enhance it.
- Keep us safe. Never take God’s blessings for granted.
- Help me surrender everything. You might feel like you’ve done this already. Check again. Is God speaking to you about your life’s call? Surrender. What about something you don’t want to give up, like movies or music? Surrender. What about drawing tighter lines in your dress standards? Surrender. Or tighter lines in boy/girl contact or emotional connections? Surrender. God might hit on some touchy subjects this week. Surrender to everything He leads in.
- Show me areas I’m weak in. That’s a hard thing to ask. But maybe He wants to stretch you. Maybe God will call you to preach and you’re terrified. Maybe He wants you to go to Bible college and you think that’s crazy (see #7). Maybe He just wants you to be more vocal during the preaching in Sunday school or be more of an influence on others for doing what’s right. Maybe you think you’re okay spiritually, but you’ve never asked me or Mrs. Jamie or… you know… God if there’s anything we see in you. Be open to the hard, probing thoughts.
- Help me in my strengths. You are not full of weakness… you have great spiritual strengths. All of you! Maybe you should ask God to help you get better at your strengths. If you’re merciful or encouraging or a good servant, ask God to help you be more and do more for Him. If you have a lot of Bible knowledge, as God to help you use that knowledge for Him. If you have a good relationship with God, ask God to help you be vocal about it and encourage or challenge others somehow.
- Help me keep my decisions. I’ve seen a LOT of you keep your decisions all year… that’s amazing. I’ve seen a lot of other years and a lot of other youth groups that have made a bunch of emotional decisions at camp but never did anything with them after they got home. That’s not you. Many of you are out every Saturday on doorknocking. Many of you are here every church service. Many of you are still doing your devotions, praying, reaching out to others, watching your mouth and thoughts and MANY more decisions. I’ve been so “proud” (you know what I mean) to be your youth director this year. J