You have not lived….fully…until you have chaperoned 30 elementary aged kids with bows and arrows in their hands! Seriously, your should try it…at least once in your life!
Every summer for the past 11 years I have taken a crew of fabulous kids, grades 2nd through 6th, away for a week of summer camp. As a children’s pastor I love to see hundreds of kids in corporate worship, praying around the altars and experiencing the touch of the Holy Spirit in new and exciting ways. I find that environment exciting, stimulating…breathtaking…
…but I feel the same way when it is time to place bows and arrows in the hands of these same kids and tell them that they are to now ‘hit the target’. It’s exciting…stimulating…and yes, even breathtaking!
The instructors there are wonderful and they do provide many safety measures so that ALL parties remain unharmed…but still…my heart rate is elevated on this one activity. Those skinny little arms struggle to pull the string back, the bow shakes, arrows drop to the ground repeatedly, fingers get pinched….but eventually (even if it takes a year to accomplish this), the arrow sets sail towards the target! Shouts resound when an arrow hits any target…even if the target belongs to a kid 4 rows away!
This one activity is always a highlight for our kids and it makes me ask the question…why? They lack the physical strength to pull the string back and hold the bow firm, they are easily distracted and they are listening to ALL those who try to give them instructions…including kids who have never shot an arrow! The thrill, I believe, comes from when they see someone else, “hit that target” and they believe…that one day, that will be them!
How many parallels I have seen in my own prayer life, and perhaps, you can relate?
*have you ever felt too weak (spiritually, physically, emotionally) to pray?
*have you ever felt unskilled or perhaps, had too many people giving you information on “the right way to pray?”
*have you ever felt like your prayers were arrows that were shot randomly into the the air, never knowing if they hit a target and made any difference?
*have you ever struggled with “prayer envy” because the prayers of others always seem to hit their target?
*have you ever “pinched” your finger and felt like you were wounded in your own prayer life or when someone else prayed over you?
*have you ever felt like you pray and you pray and you pray..your prayers drop to the ground in front of you and nothing changes?
*have you ever felt like you don’t even know what you are to pray for…not even sure what is the target you are supposed to be aiming at?
Ephesians 6:10-18 is a powerful portion of scripture focusing on the ARMOR OF GOD. Satan has a bullseye on your life and has a strategic plan to steal, kill and destroy you. (John 10:10).
We need to have a strategic plan in our prayer life to guard against Satan’s plans.
In verse 18 we read, “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 Lord’s people.”
This is the time, my friends, to strengthen our spiritual muscles, sharpen our focus, hear the instruction of the Holy Spirit and take aim at the very areas Satan has already begun to shoot at:
Are you ready?
Fire! (oh that’s right, that’s a bee bee rifle…did I mention we alway do that at camp too?? Save that discussion for another day!!)