Pray for the UnexpectedJuly 30th, 2013
This week at Seneca Lake, we witnessed God move in some pretty unexpected and amazing ways. We spent a lot of time with the campers during meals and games, but the highlights of the week were the chapel services each morning and evening. Right from the first night, the gospel was presented in a way that confronted the campers and forced them to really evaluate their lives. Even then, at the very start of camp, several campers made the decision to follow Christ. But that was only the beginning…
The speaker for the morning chapels was Tim Binns. We had the chance to work with Tim earlier in the summer, and we were excited to minister alongside him again. His messages throughout the week focused on the necessity and power of prayer in our lives. One of the points he made really stood out – we should be praying for the unexpected. He preached from Acts 12, when Peter was in prison and the angel appeared to him and freed him. Peter then ran to the house of Mary “where many were gathered together and were praying.” (Acts 12:12) The author continues the story, noting that the girl who answered the door was shocked to find Peter outside, though they had just been praying. The people had prayed for something so seemingly impossible that they were surprised when God answered them! That became our prayer for the rest of the week – that God would surprise us and do something we didn’t expect; and it didn’t take long to see God start to answer that prayer. That night in chapel, we were near the end of the music set when the speaker for the evening chapels, Brian, walked up on stage and started to talk into one of the microphones. He said that he felt led by the Spirit to give an invitation to start following Christ and wondered if there was anyone who needed to make a decision right then. We as the band had never before witnessed an invitation like that during the music time, and we just watched and waited. One at a time, a couple of the campers stood, ready to make the decision to follow Christ. We played music quietly while Brian led them in prayer; and when they finished, we played through the end of the song Stronger to close out the music time. That was the first time we had been a part of an invitation during the worship set instead of the preaching time. It was encouraging for us as the worship team to see that even the lyrics of songs we sing could be used by God to draw people to himself. We left that night surprised and thankful to see God work in new ways.
As we are starting our last week of camp now, we are continuing to pray for the unexpected. So often, we pray for the ways we think God needs to work or the ways that we want to see Him work. It’s exciting and even a bit unnerving to pray that He would surprise us. We ask that you would join us and pray that God would do the unexpected, and that He make us willing and able to serve in whatever ways we can.