Monday, June 05, 2017

Strategic & Tactical Prayer & CCWC

The month of May 2017 has been full of activity. For new readers of this blog, I attempt to analyze events from a Biblical Worldview. I had the privilege and honor to speak and teach on the subject of strategic and tactical prayer at the 2017 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. The conference Director, Marlene Bagnull, Litt.D., believes, “God is raising up an army of Christians to ‘Write His Answer’ to the critical needs facing our nation and the world.” I believe this is true. Therefore, I was grateful for the opportunity to share what I believe the LORD has taught me about getting this army ready for battle using laser-focused prayer. As I’ve written in earlier posts (#6, and #7), the Christian prayer warrior must preserver through hardships and be prepared to confront the enemy, including counterattacks, because the number one goal of our enemy is to convince us to give up. And he will use every lie imaginable to drive us to quit, even create personal frustration with the unpredictable Colorado weather.
May 8, After the Storm
May 9Damage Assessment
May 9Punched Through
On May 8th, we were hit with an intense hail storm. CCWC opened on May 17th with a winter storm forecast and it snowed until the 19th. Mary and I like to camp with our dogs in our travel trailer during the conference. The night of the 17th, the campground lost power due to the heavy snow, and our propane gas along with our battery power ran low. Frigid mountain temperatures and no heat in a travel trailer can make for a deadly combination. For safety concerns, Mary and the dogs returned to our home in Lakewood. She left Estes Park, Colorado just before the authorities closed the roads. A few hours later, I received a text message stating she made it home.
I was scheduled to speak the evening of the 18th. With the snow falling heavily, it took me over an hour to dig the snow away from my truck so I could drive up the YMCA camp where the conference was held. I stopped by the campground office to ask if I could fill my propane tank.  They said they could not get to their fill station and didn’t know when they’d be able to reach it. The short drive from the campground to the YMCA was treacherous. When I reported to Marlene, she took one look at my soaked condition and asked about Mary. I told her Mary went home. Then, Marlene asked if I was still in my trailer. I said yes. She immediately picked up the phone, said she was booking me a room at the YMCA, to go get what I needed, and move to the YMCA before the road closed. For those who know Marlene, she is a woman one doesn’t say no to easily.
The snow kept falling and by the time I had my truck packed, the snow had reached a depth of two feet. I got stuck trying to get out of the campground. Fortunately, I shifted into four-wheel drive mode and was able to pull through and back to the YMCA. Exhausted, I checked into my room at 4:20 PM.
I said all of the above to say this, the main point I wanted to make in my presentation on strategic and tactical prayer was the follower of Jesus in the Army of God must pray with perseverance. The term occurs 22 times in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) version. Each time it is used to encourage believers to press on in their faith, to never give up. I was literally slogging through the message God had given me to deliver, which I did.
At the close of my presentation, Marlene asked that everyone in attendance put into practice what I addressed. We opened the auditorium of approximately three hundred conferees and faculty to prayer. And then, the powerful presence of Almighty God took over and He brought forth a clear command that set the tone for the rest of the conference. His concern for the next generation became evident through the voiced prayers raised from 8:30 to 10:15 that evening.
While listening to the prayers for our children, nation, and requests for another, “Great Awakening,” I had an impression. I’ve learned over forty-six years of discipleship to pay attention to these whispers. I heard, “I’m going to give you a Gideon moment. Watch.” For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Gideon, I suggest reading the Bible book of Judges, Chapters 6 and 7. Around 9 PM, people began to leave the auditorium. As I have said in earlier posts (#6 and #7), and in my presentation not every follower of Jesus is called to serve in His army and not everyone in His army is granted the privilege to engage in the battle. Near 9:15 PM, a core of twenty people remained. We gathered in a smaller group and prayed for another hour. During this last hour, He solidified his concern for the next generation and I committed myself to write in obedience to His command.
May 18, Outside My Room
May 18, Outside My Room
May 19, Sunshine
The next day, the snow tapered and stopped. Once again, God unveiled His unmatchable, majestic artistry. This was my twelfth ColoradoChristian Writers Conference. I have learned much over the years and I’ll say it again, Marlene Bagnull offers a unique experience in her conferences. The growth as a writer I’ve experienced I believe has come from the relationships God has established with others I’ve met in this environment. The Bible says that Christians are a peculiar people and it is my opinion, Christian writers are even more peculiar. Christians are to live our faith in His salvation. The atmosphere Marlene fosters grants Christian writers the opportunity to come along side each other and practice our faith in Him and encourage one another to, “Write His Answer,” to the critical needs facing our nation, world, and the next generation.
May 20, After CCWC
May 20, Digging Out
May 20, Digging Out
As I drove home, I prayed, “Okay Father, I got Your message. I haven’t written a children’s story in over twenty-five years. I suppose I could dust off some of the old stuff and see if we can resurrect those. But I honestly don’t know what to do. So Father, my eyes are on You. I trust You will show me what’s the next step.”
After I got home, I received two e-mails. One was from a conferee who sensed God’s call to join His army and write for the next generation. He sent me a synopsis of a fantasy that would appeal to middle school age children, who by reading the story would learn the Gospel of Jesus. Then, he asked for my help to develop the story. The second e-mail was from my son. He had written a short story for elementary school age children. It is cute with a soft biblical message. He specifically asked for my help. As one who takes Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations seriously, I believe The Commander of the Hosts has made His orders crystal clear. What an honor it is to serve these men as they write for the next generation. I think it is time to pray strategically and tactically for them and their work. 

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