Prayer is God’s Chosen Means
“When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do.”
(A.C. Dixon, former pastor of Moody church in Chicago)
At Barakel we create short-term communities where people are challenged to think about long-term issues. The temporary event is intended to ‘get at’ eternal realities, but our efforts can only go so far. We aim to give a clear external call of the Gospel, but we can not bring about a willing response from the hearer. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
On a Friday night during retreat season the Office is well-lit and full of activity as guests stop in to register. Anticipation runs high when Friday evening Chapel starts, and a brief period of intense ministry gets underway. People spend a weekend at Barakel for a short-term experience. While they are immersed in God’s creation, the Word is preached (the Gospel call is given) and often the Spirit does his convicting work. What they intended to be a short-term experience has eternal implications.
You can readily see why prayer is so important to effective evangelism. Unless God works in peoples’ hearts to make the proclamation of the gospel effective, there will be no genuine saving response. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
We are very grateful for your prayers. When we, through prayer, “splice our limp wire to the lightning bolt of heaven” we get what God can accomplish. That is what makes something temporary into something eternally powerful.
How To Pray
Here are ways you can pray for your camp staff:
Ask God to give us an inclination to his Word and not to money or fame or power (Psalm 119:36), to open our eyes to see wonderful things when we read his Word (Psalm 119:18), to have hearts united in the fear of God rather than fragmented over a dozen concerns (Psalm 86:11), and to be satisfied in his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14). (This IOUS acronym is taken from www.DesiringGod.org)
Pray for our purity and that we not come into temptation. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak“ (Matthew 26:41). It is so crucial that our minds, not just our bodies, be pure. Defiled minds dull spiritual sight and make a Christian weak and, in the end, useless.
Pray for our boldness in witnessing to the truth and beauty and necessity of Christ as the only way to escape the wrath of God and enjoy the pleasure of God’s presence. “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
Pray for solid, joyful, Christ-exalting marriages. “Fathers …bring [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way” so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
Pray for visionary, creative energy. Some of the resident missionary staff are older and have been around a long time. Pray that we not get lazy. Pray that age brings both wisdom and strength and zeal. Pray that we dream and create and press for more and more impact on this world for Christ. “Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, ‘You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess’” (Joshua 13:1).
Thank you for your prayers for us.
Be sure to see the staff’s individual prayer letters for more ways to pray. Staff
In addition to your prayers for Camp Barakel, we encourage you to pray Psalm 67-type prayers: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy” Let us all pray for the day that God will be loved by all the nations, and let us pray that God will use Camp Barakel in His kingdom-building.