One God Idea
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
During the Lenten season, we studied a very inspiring book, Draw the Circle: The 40 day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. In the chapter entitled, “One God Idea”, Batterson offers an illustration of the power of prayer and God’s revelation from the life of George Washington Carver.
In the early 1900s, the southern agricultural economy was struggling for two reasons, the boll weevil had ruined the cotton crop, and the soil was nutrient deficient due to lack of crop rotation. Carver encouraged the farmers to plant peanuts to resolve the soil issue, and the soil was revived, but at the time there was no demand for peanuts. Today there are many uses for peanuts, not only for snacks and sandwiches, but for wood stain, fertilizer, soap and shaving cream to name a few. According to Batterson, the ideas and uses for the peanut revealed to Carver followed a long talk with God through prayer. One God idea is greater than the ideas of thousands of people.
Prayer is the basis for the strength and guidance of any church. Without constant communication with the one who sent us, we may lose direction and purpose.
On Saturday, May 20, the Leadership Team and I are asking all to join us in prayer to seek God’s guidance for the direction of Covenant for the 21st century. Some churches may be comfortable with always doing what they have always done, but Covenant, from my observation, is always seeking new ways to serve God and community.
Again, this is where conversations with God are paramount, and we feel nothing is more appropriate than holding continual prayer for 12 hours (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM) by the faithful members of this congregation.
Speaking of the power of prayer, on Sunday, April 30, we welcomed seven youth into full membership after confirmation. Each young person has made a decision to follow Jesus as Lord. These occurrences are due to the power of prayer. We have been praying for our children & youth ministry and young people’s ministries to grow. And God is answering our prayers.
I have another story to share from one of many experiences I have had in the past. At my former appointment that was a church located on the southeast side of Reading, we noticed in 2013 there were very few men in church. We began to pray about God sending men into our church. For Father’s Day that year, I was led to preach from Genesis:3 after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, discovered their nakedness, and were hiding from God as result.
So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man. “Where are you? (Genesis 3:8-9)
We knew that God is better at calling people than we were, and one year later God led over a dozen men to join our church. As a result, we were able to add two new ministries; the Male chorus, and the Brothers for Christ Men’s ministry. The men walked the neighborhood and prayed on weekends to help reduce violence, and fed people in downtown Reading. This was all due to the power of prayer.
In closing, please plan to join in our Prayer-A-Thon on Saturday, May 20. God wants to provide the revelation we need for Covenant that can only come through conversations with God, and afterward we should expect “One God Idea.”
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”--the things God has prepared for those who love him. (2 Corinthians 2:9)