And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
A few weeks ago I was writing about God’s Faithfulness at Church Camp. As goes life at camp, all of a sudden we were so busy that there was no time to write. But there was still time to pray! I encourage all of you involved in camping ministries to keep Jesus and prayer as top priorities no matter what the season, slow or busy. If we stay in God’s Word and have TEA with Him each day, all of our tasks will be blessed. God is faithful, even during our busy times, sending wonderful volunteers to help us.
Here are some ways we incorporate prayer in our camping ministry. I hope these ideas are a blessing to you. Please let me know if you have other ideas…
Prayer emails to prayer friends & family…We have a group of people who are interested in our ministry and have promised to pray for us. Every so often (and I need to write again soon), we send out a prayer email, giving these folks an update on praises and prayer requests for the camp. We are so thankful for these folks who petition the Lord on our behalf.
Prayer friends adopt a team member or board member…These same prayer friends have the opportunity to adopt one of our ministry team or board members each summer. They pray for that person specifically by name, covering all our team in prayer.
Prayer partners each week with ministry team…In addition, every Sunday night at our ministry team worship service, we write our names and any prayer requests on a slip of paper and put them in a basket. At the end of the service we each draw a name to pray for that week. We get to cover each other in prayer this way.
Pray over camp before season…During our week of team training at the beginning of summer, our ministry team takes time to walk over our entire camp and pray for each building, recreation, vehicles, campers, team members, volunteers, etc. We ask God to cleanse each part of the camp and fill each room with His Holy Spirit, touching the lives of all who come to camp.
Footwashing and communion service for ministry team...At the end or our training week, we hold a commissioning service for our ministry team, asking God to bless and prepare each one of us to serve. Each team member washes another’s feet and we lay hands on that person and pray for him/her. As we share the bread and cup, we are united as one body to serve Jesus at camp for the summer.
Daily devotions and prayers at lunch with ministry team…Every day at lunch in the summer we share a devotion and prayer with our ministry team. This is the perfect time when both the morning crew and afternoon crew are there together. Team members sign up on a calendar for this prayer time, so they each have the opportunity to lead in this special way. Lunch time together is one of our favorite times of the day.
Sunday night praise service for ministry team and neighbors…One way we open up our ministry to others is offering a free cookout and praise service to the community on Sunday evenings. The cookout is a time of fellowship, followed by a praise service lead by our ministry team. Neighbors have the opportunity to submit prayer requests in our prayer basket, and also to draw a name and help pray with us.
Bibles and devotion booklets available around camp for guests…When guests head back to their rooms for the evening, some may be missing home, worried about jobs and family, having trouble sleeping. And so in each lodge room is a Bible, and devotion books are also available, to encourage our guests and campers to have TEA with Jesus.
Prayer Chapel…Right in the center of camp is a little cabin that a mission team turned into a prayer chapel for us one summer. The stained glass windows and miniature pews invites folks to pray 24/7, whenever they need a quiet spot away from the bustle of other campers.
Graces and prayers offered at meals for guests and team...Finally, even when things are rushed and busy, we try to make time for a prayer before meals with our ministry team. Depending on the groups in camp, we may also lead a prayer for our campers. We want them to know Jesus loves them and we thank the Lord for sending them to camp!
I’m sure many of you have other ways you incorporate prayer in your camping ministry and lives. Please share! As I write this I’m thinking of another idea to add next summer…A Prayer Walk along the Bambi Trail...it starts with “T” for Thanks, then “E” for Exalt, then “A” for Admit, then “C” for God’s Call, then “U” for Understanding my Story, then “P” or Promises, and finally “P” for Petitions…My TEA CUPP with Jesus in the forest!
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)