I was at Twin Lakes Camp for my 4th and final time as a camper this past week. I had an awesome time making new friends, meeting new people, enjoying myself there. The theme of the this year is "Cowboy Up"........or to put it in more clear term, overcoming the challenges of the Christian life. The oh familiar Don Helton was the speaker of the week, and he spoke on the different spiritual disciplines (sweet stuff!!), like, devotion to God's word, generosity, evangelizing, thanksgiving, and prayer (not all in that order). It was awesome, to learn more about these spiritual disciplines that we touched on.
Out of these 5 though, only one is something that struck me in a certain degree. Prayer. Yes!
pray without ceasing--1 Thessalonians 5:17
I read this short verse before, and ended up with a partial understanding of what it meant. Though after last week at camp, I now have a complete understanding of what it means.
This is something that Don presented in the message of prayer one night. I thoughts that it was so useful that I had to write it down. Each of these are types of prayers that can be offered to God any time throughout the day. Not just before bed, during personal devotions, or at Church/youth group/Bible study.........but whenever!
Adoration--this a much another word for praise. It can come in many different situations, like safety in a storm, gazing at the stars in the summer night sky, or anytime God displays His power, love, mercy, etc. So there are many oppurtunities to lift up prayers of adoration to the God of the universe.
Confession--this is confessing your sin, which is like "duh", but here's the thing, this is a prayer that we lift up to God every now & then. Think about this for a minute or two: every time you sin, come before God to confess to Him of that sin and ask Him for forgiveness. This is also known as keeping a short account with God. We sin just about everyday, so this act of confession should be a daily thing.
Thanksgiving--this a prayer that should be the most common in the Christian life......or so that's what I believe. God gives blesses us with so much, and puts us in many different situations. So thanking God for rain, sun, shelter, food, family, friends, finding a lost wallet, the chance to hang out with friends, and many more things like these are easy to give God thanks for. Yet it does say in God's word, that we should give thanks to God for the hard, painful, rough, and trialing situations like the death a close friend or family member, being bullied everyday at school, losing your job, just to name among the few of many rough and painful times in one's life. 1Thessalonians 5:18 states--give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Also note that in Romans 8 Paul tells us that everything that God lets happen to us (good or bad), happens for our good. So when bad things happen, instead of pointing your finger at God blaming him, remember Paul's word's in Romans 8 and the words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and thanks God.
Supplication--this is where you lift up specific requests you have to God. For example, an uncle who has cancer, a friend who isn't a christian, finding a good mother's day gift for you mom, a big chemistry test, pretty much whatever comes your way. As these needs come, we shouldn't hesitate to lift them up to God.
So yes! Now I have a complete understanding of 1 Thessalonians 5 :17. I thank God, that through Don Helton's message that one night last week, that my prayer life has improved greatly!!