My mom used to buy me Wheaties for soccer games. That was like my way to prepare on Saturday mornings. Wheaties are pretty bleh, but they’re supposedly good for you. Maybe.
How do you prepare for stuff? Do you eat your Wheaties?
I hope you have been preparing for camp by praying. I have been thinking about camp for SO long, and now that it’s here, I am super excited. Camp is always my favorite week of the summer. The activities are amazing, the food is great, and the PREACHING is the best. Like, always the best. Better than anything we get in Sunday school… that’s for sure!! Unless we have a guest preacher, that is…
So, tonight, we’ll eat our spiritual Wheaties by praying in preparation for camp. Here are a few thoughts on that:
1. Pray for salvations. There will be several people at camp that are spiritually lost. If they died today, they would wake up immediately in hell. That’s not a joke. That’s serious. Every service is important, so pray that God convicts them of their need for salvation from DAY ONE! Some of the people we have been praying for already got saved. Kind of spoiled our prayers because they got saved early (joking!) Pray that souls will understand the gospel and accept it.
2. Pray for openness. Prepare your OWN heart to accept whatever God wants for you. If you’re a “good kid,” are you open to God calling you to do more? Are you open to being a preacher or preacher’s wife? Are you open to learning a new language and becoming a missionary? Wait… are you open to a daily commitment of 30 minutes of Bible reading? And 30 minutes of prayer? Or an hour of each?? How open are you? Pray that God helps you have an open heart, no matter how big or small the decision might be.
3. Pray for brokenness. This is something I have never seen a lot of—brokenness over sin. I’ve seen people face their sin somewhat matter-of-factly, but I haven’t seen many people broken over their sin. Read Psalm 51 and pray for that kind of spirit next week. I think teens ought to be broken about how their music hurts God. I think Christians should see their sexual lust from God’s eyes and be broken when they touch a boy or girl, hug, kiss, or push other lines of purity. I think Christians should be broken about cursing, divorce, not reading their Bible, lying, and pride. Pray that God will not just convict you of sin, but help you see it in all its putrid filth and help you to be broken over it.
4. Pray for specific application to every sermon. Pray that God will give you—YOU—something from every sermon. It might be something to believe deeper, or guard your future self from, or a sin to repent of. Ask God to help you DO something with EVERY sermon, no matter what the topic is. Try to always have an answer to “How is God speaking to you this week?” when you’re asked. Think about how to NOT have the “it was a good week, I just didn’t get much from it” attitude. There’s ALWAYS something to get when God’s Word is preached, so ask God to help you make specific application to YOUR own life.
5. Pray for the usual stuff. We pray often for these things, so keep them in mind:
- Safety (bus ride, throughout the week…)
- Bro. Tyler (God to use him, get good rest, safe travels…)
- Camp staff (program, counselors, be healthy and alert, invest in us, week run smoothly…)
- Youth staff (good time with TOF, good conversations througout week, wisdom…)
- Other campers (God to speak to them, no fights, no arguments, make godly friendships, make me a blessing in my cabin…)
Don’t rush your prayer time. Tonight, we will take some time to do this out loud, together, but this list is for you to take home and continue praying.
Bro. Ben’s Note
I woke up this morning and started out my day just as any other. Went into the kitchen to make some eggs for breakfast, sat down to read my Bible and get with the Lord for help throughout the day. Then, Bro. Michael (who is much more spiritual and got up before me) asked a question. “Hey, have you heard about the shooting?” My mind kinda stopped for a second when I heard the word. There has been a shooting a day for almost a week now all aimed at Police officers, those who, at the least the majority of them, try to keep us safe, aren’t even safe themselves!
Immediately I was filled with anger. Thoughts were racing through my head, “why does this keep happening? Someone should do something,” were a few. Then I calmed myself down and read my Bible, hoping God would help me somehow. Of course… God did. I was reading Proverbs twenty and verse three read, “It is an honor for a man to cease from strife;” then verse twenty-two said, “Say not thou I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.”
Immediately I knew what I was doing. There I was, thinking of ways to take on the world and fix it all all by myself, forgetting one simple but hugely important truth: God takes care of it all. God is still in charge and always has been and always will be! We have no reason to fear or worry, all we must do is trust.
Here are a few additional things…
Don’t have an attitude. With everything we’ve got going on, please plan your response now. Don’t get an attitude. Bus seating, dress code, cabin rules, whatever… don’t get your little feelings hurt. Accept the rules. Go with it.
Invitations. Don’t let anything stop you from responding to the preaching. Think about it… God speaks to you and you’re convicted. If it’s true conviction and you truly want to change in some way, who cares what other people think?! Forget them! Go talk to God and let them be cry-babies about their spiritual lives! You go be grown up and step out at the invitation time!
Talk to your counselors. I love Ironwood’s counselors. Since the counselors are strangers to you, they’re easy to talk to about stuff that you might not tell anyone else. Plus, they’re super cool. Even the weird ones are cool. When they approach you to talk, welcome them. Don’t be all awkward and non-talkative. Be yourself and share your heart. Tell them an area you are struggling with, and see if God uses them to help you in some way. Oh, you don’t struggle with stuff? Hmmm…
Guys’ dress code. I’ve said before that girls have all the hard rules and guys have it easy. That’s mostly true, but guys have some rules too. Guys, for evening services, please wear slacks or khakis (no jeans), a collared shirt tucked in, and a belt (oh yeah, and socks and shoes, etc.) We always seem to “forget” the bold things. Please take note.