by Matt Edwards Posted Mar 20, 2014
Over the last several years, the resident staff of Pine Cove have been pursuing the idea that God is deeply engaged with His people that pray. He desires a deep and personal relationship with his children. An active prayer life is one of the ways that we can enjoy him more fully.
He has taught us how to pray through the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:9 “This then is how you should pray; Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”
In Hebrews 7:24-25, we see Jesus mediating on our behalf always, and then we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 2 that we have “the Spirit who is from God so that we might understand what God has freely given us…” God has all of our bases covered and we have no excuse for not praying to Him.
As His adopted children (who God graciously chose for an intimate relationship before the beginning of time), we have an amazing advantage for our life here on earth. An amazing advantage that is built on a direct relationship with the creator of the universe. An amazing advantage that we can never lose, we can only dull the vibrancy and block the intensity when we choose to walk in disobedience and fail to pursue Him in prayer driven by confession, repentance and dealing with our sins each and every day.
Knowing that over one million campers have attended Pine Cove over the past 47 years coupled with plans to minister to an additional million over the next 12 years, not to mention the 33,333 during the upcoming summer season of ministry, PC wants to intentionally pursue God on His terms – frequently, consistently, and passionately through an active focus on prayer.
From the Pine Cove Board to department-level announcement gatherings, meetings open in prayer throughout the ministry. Different prayer groups meet weekly specifically to bombard the throne of grace on behalf of the ministry, individuals can be seen at picnic tables praying, and groups can log into the “Pine Cove Prays” Facebook group to join in weekly, and daily prayer needs for others.
Our twice-annual prayer chapel took place yesterday. The Pine Cove resident staff joined together and prayed for the 33,333 campers that God is already pursuing to be a part of the ministry during the summer season: family campers, overnight youth campers, Camp in the City and day campers. We will also pray for the 1,400 summer staff as they actively live out their faith on college campuses around the country in preparation of this summer season.
In an effort to make this time powerful and super intentional, all resident staff were given journals at the staff retreat in February. We collectively prayed through Psalm 66:16-20 and into Psalm 67 as we prepared our hearts for this special time of corporate prayer.
Some of the staff have been sharing their experiences over the past four weeks as they read, pray, and journal what God is doing in their lives as a result of a corporate call to prayer and preparation for this summer. In Psalm 66, verse 16 finds the Psalmist inviting the readers to come and listen to all of the good things that God has done for him. This is followed by a reflection on the presence of cherished sin on our lives, especially as it relates to our connectivity with God and his receptivity towards our prayers.
I know of one staff member personally that was led to fill over 35 pages of response to God on those two great verses, remembering what God has done for us and dealing with the sin that we cherish in our hearts. Wow!
Please consider joining us in this journey of intentional corporate prayer in preparation of another great season of summer ministry at Pine Cove. 33,333 is a big number, but we need to be reminded that God uses big numbers all throughout scriptures. They are everywhere! In each instance (including the 33,333), God’s heart is to deal with a specific individual that either a) doesn’t know him personally, b) knows him but needs to commit to Him more deeply, or c) needs to come back home and find the Father running towards him because he has been waiting to re-establish the relationship and welcome you back into his loving arms.
Revelation 21:5 reads: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Let’s worship Him together through our prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving!”
What a Mighty God We Serve!