Preparing Your Heart For Prayer and Following in His Footsteps
By: Donna Riesen
“Sometimes I’m asked to list the most important steps in preparing for an evangelistic mission, and my reply is always the same: prayer…prayer…prayer.” —Billy Graham
PAVE THE WAY WITH LOVE
The Apostle Paul often used the “walk” metaphor in his letters to the churches. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul explained that as believers, “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, NASB).
In chapter four, the apostle described what that walk should look like: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3, NASB).
FOLLOW IN YOUR FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS
In the opening verses of Ephesians five, Paul stresses the importance of walking in love, giving us the picture of a young child walking beside his father and trying to imitate his walk. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2, NASB).
While we will never reach our Heavenly Father’s standard of perfection in our own strength, we are told to be imitators of God and to walk as Christ walked. If we have repented of our sin and accepted Christ’s offer of forgiveness through His blood, we are transformed, reborn and adopted into God’s family. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the leading of God’s Word, we can choose to walk in a way that shows others the family resemblance. Loving others with a selfless, sacrificial love will point them to Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice to bring us to God.
PREPARE THE PATH WITH PRAYER
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul commends the believers and expresses thanks to God for their faith in Christ Jesus and their love for all the saints. Paul’s love for them is evident as he assures them of his unceasing prayers:
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light” (Colossians 1:9-12, NASB).
The roads at The Cove are in great shape, ready to receive vehicles filled with individuals who will come here seeking a closer walk with God. Our peaceful walking trails await those who need a quiet place to meet with Him amid the beauty of His creation. So what’s our job now as “road workers”? As Cove staff, we have various job descriptions and To-Do lists, but there’s one thing we’re all called to do before every seminar or event: we pray.
It is both our privilege and our responsibility to pray for each other and for those who will come to The Cove. The physical tasks we perform on a daily basis while serving here will have no lasting spiritual impact unless they are carried out in love and bathed in prayer. Acknowledging that only the Holy Spirit can truly open a heart, we do our best to prepare a safe, comfortable, welcoming environment free of distractions which might take attention away from the truth of God’s Word. As we seek to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,” faithfully and prayerfully carrying out the tasks He has called us to, we help to clear the way for the Lord to work.
Let’s commit being faithful in prayer. Consider praying the words of Colossians 1:9-12 for your co-workers, loved ones, and for all those who will visit The Cove in the month of July.
Keep praying and seeking!
Join us in prayer for the following upcoming events:
Alex McFarland — July 16-18 (Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Johnny Prettyman; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish) Amos: The Principles of Revival and the Pathway to Spiritual Awakening
Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — July 16-19 (Facilitator: John Parrish)
Tony Evans — July 19-21 (Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Johnny Prettyman; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett) Kingdom Disciples: Heaven’s Representatives on Earth
An Evening at The Cove with Michael Card — July 22 (Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)
Michael Card — July 23-27 (Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Michael Card; Pastor-in-Residence: David Taylor) Intensive Bible Training — Follow Me
Darren Thomas — July 27-29 (Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Michael O’Brien; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish) Restore My Soul