Page 208 was my prayer walk day at Michiana Christian Service Camp this week. I had made a decision at the beginning of the summer that with God’s help, I would spend a day each week of the summer camp season praying on-site for the camp, campers, camp faculty, and camp staff. Next week the camp has a couple partial week sessions but I will be at a conference, so today wrapped up that commitment I made and it has been good for me — and I pray good for the camp.
But before I made it to the camp, I got some work done in the office and helped get some things moved for some more floor work at church. As I took care of things I needed to do early this morning and considered how much still needs done before I leave for the student conference this weekend, I could hear a voice whispering in my ear that I didn’t need to go to the camp and pray today — that other things on my list were more important. It was kind of a strange whisper considering that the workshops I will lead this weekend are about different aspects of developing a lifestyle of prayer. While the whisper didn’t gain much traction in my mind today, it made me think about how easy it is to compromise our convictions and commitments for the sake of things that seem urgent. In a results driven society, we like things we can quantify and measure. That desire is one of the things that makes prayer-based ministry so difficult for churches and ministries to adopt, because it is nearly impossible to measure with certainty the results of God working through our prayers.
I don’t know, and likely will never know, the results of my prayers on behalf of the camp. I do, however, know at least some of the results in my life that comes from living a lifestyle of prayer. I’ve said it and taught it often, and this summer has been a good example, that prayer changes things because at the very least it changes the person praying. So, regardless of what God chooses to do with the camp and its staff in answer to my prayers, I know He has done a good work in my life through these weekly prayer times.
I pray that you and I would recognize the great gift God has given us in His desire for communication with us through our prayer life. I pray that we would be aware of the things that seem urgent but are only meant to distract us from the things that are most important. I pray that we would be people of prayer as we allow God to do a great work in our lives as we surrender to Him in our prayer life. I pray that we would be grateful for the changes God brings about in our lives through our time spent in prayer.