Tag Archives: Prayer

Saturday Snapshot — Ruth Graham’s Words Live On

Billy Graham once said, “Many ask me, ‘Who is the greatest Christian I’ve ever known?’ I always answer, ‘Ruth.’ She’s the greatest Christian I’ve ever known.”

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Today would have been Ruth Graham’s 97th birthday.  Born in China in 1920 to medical missionary parents, she later served the Lord, alongside her husband, for more than 60 years.  Ruth was called home by her Savior 10 years ago, but her words and her legacy of prayer live on…

Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth’s desk at their home in Montreat, North Carolina.  As you can see, she spent a great deal of time in God’s Word.  Ruth Graham desk

Executive Director of The Cove and Ruth’s grandson, Will Graham, appreciated his grandmother’s heart for prayer so much, that he dedicated Ruth’s Prayer Garden in her honor.  We’d love to share the prayer garden, adjacent to Chatlos Memorial Chapel, with more than 150 plant varieties, with you.  Stop by and take a tour….it’s free.  Click here for directions and hours. 

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PRAYER NOTE: June 2017

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen

GOD IS WORKING!

Nothing encourages us to remain faithful in prayer like a good long look at an Ebenezer—a visible memorial to the Lord’s faithfulness. Whether it’s a page from an old prayer journal, a note we’ve written in the margin of a Bible, or a blog post from a fellow believer, we’re encouraged as we remind ourselves of God’s goodness in our own lives, and our faith is strengthened as we hear the testimonies of how He has worked in the lives of others.

We’re nearly halfway through the year 2017, and, depending upon your role as Cove staff, you’ve made beds, changed lightbulbs, prepared meals, answered phones, mown grass, typed schedules, copied handouts, etc. Looking back, we know we’ve provided clean and comfortable rooms, delicious meals and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere conducive to the study of God’s Word. We’ve distributed notebooks and we’ve welcomed godly speakers who are widely known for their love of God and for their knowledge of the Scriptures. We’ve shown hospitality in the name of Christ. Yet the greatest thing that has happened at The Cove in 2017 is that each time His Word has been proclaimed, God has shown up.

1 Samuel 6-7 records Israel’s defeat in battle and the subsequent capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines. Later, after the Philistines returned the Ark, the prophet Samuel urged the people toward repentance and renewal of the covenant. When the people heeded his words and assembled to worship, the Philistines heard of the gathering and began to worry that the Israelites might be planning a revolt.

“So the children of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.’ And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” (1 Samuel 7:8-12, NKJV)

THUS FAR THE LORD HAS HELPED US

At the conclusion of each Cove seminar, evaluation forms are collected and records are kept and tallied. As we review comments from recent evaluations, we see an archive of God’s faithfulness. Each bundle of evaluations contains helpful information about how we can improve our programs, yet it represents much more than statistical data—each bundle contains a record of changed lives, healed hearts and answered prayers. “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” While some of the questions on these forms may seem routine (such as inquiries about our guests’ satisfaction with the level of service and the comfort of the rooms), there are also questions about the spiritual impact of the visit. Here are a few comments by our guests about significant spiritual decisions they’ve made while here at The Cove…

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY —                                                                                           “I was not only reassured of my faith, but [also] encouraged to live under His wings!”
“This study has given me hope and courage in my walk with Jesus. It comes at the perfect time as I have some important life decisions to make. So, so grateful!”
“I’ve committed to spiritual growth and to be brave and trusting of God’s will like Esther. I’m moving forward in God’s healing for me so that in due time I can serve Him better and lead others to Christ.”

DON WILTON PASTORS’ INSTITUTE —
“I’m recommitted to the task/ministry that the Lord has called me to do.”
“I’ve made a greater commitment to work on my marriage relationship. I needed this time so much!”
“I’ve resigned myself to rest in God’s sovereignty in my life/ministry. Trusting God for all His provisions in my life.”
“I’m rededicated to my calling as pastor.”

JOHN COOK MILITARY MARRIAGE RETREAT —
“My husband and I clarified our calling and were able to pray about God’s will for our future. It was a sweet, peaceful time with God.”
“We brought God into our marriage.”
“This retreat strengthened our choice to fully reconcile and take divorce off the table.”
“We’ve realized that no matter how big our problem, no matter the hurt, He is our healer and what He has joined let no man or Satan tear apart.”

RAY BENTLEY PASTOR RENEWAL RETREAT—
“I found hope where I had none.”
“I had lost focus of my work as a pastor. I am once again focused on God and have a cleared mind and soul, seeing once again God’s call on my life.”

RON HUTCHCRAFT SEMINAR —
“It renewed my faith in God doing the impossible regarding our unsaved loved ones.”
“My mom is dying and is not saved. I have been encouraged in this dark time of my life to look through despair to see His glory.”

PETE BRISCOE SENIOR CELEBRATION —
“I’ve resolved to speak truth and love into the lives of my children and grandchildren.”

RACHAEL CRABB SEMINAR —
“Initially I thought the reason I came to this conference was for my spiritual growth. However, God dealt with me with forgiving my siblings.”
“I felt the Lord gave me a whole new beginning with Him. I feel cleansed, forgiven, loved and accepted.”

HENRY, RICHARD AND MIKE BLACKABY SEMINAR —
“I have been praying for a deeper prayer life and to know what to do with my life. I received wisdom about both.”
“I realized that God knows where I am and that hardship doesn’t mean God is finished with me.”

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for The Cove. Praise God, He hears and answers!

“Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
1 Samuel 7:12, NKJV


We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the following events taking place on The Cove property during the month of June.

JUNE CALL TO PRAYER

Jerry Vines — June 2-4
Left or Taken? Believers, Unbelievers, and the Return of Christ

Jim Cymbala — June 5-6
Pastors’ Institute— Storm: Hearing Jesus for the Times We Live In

An Evening at The Cove with Mark Lowry and Stan Whitmire —   June 18

Mark Yarbrough — June 19-23                                                                                    Intensive Bible Training— Reveling in Grace: The Gospel of Freedom

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. — June 26-30
Intensive Bible Training— God’s Grand Plan for the Nations

Ken Ham — June 30-July 2
As in the Days of Noah

6 Guidelines for Your Time Alone With God by Billy Graham

BG-Living Word Quote and 6 Guidelines for time alone with god Blog Title size(1)Do you devote time each day to be alone with God?  If you are in this practice, you know how special that time can be.  We hope the insights Billy Graham offers here will be a blessing to you.

By Billy Graham

Several practical guidelines have been helpful to me in maintaining a vital and regular time with God.

FIRST, set aside time each day to spend time with God.  It may be early in the morning, or at least before you begin the day’s regular activities.  Make it a time when you are mentally alert, when you have no distractions, and you are not rushed.  Discipline yourself to keep this time every day, even when travel or a busy schedule makes it difficult.  Make it such a regular part of your life that you would no more skip it than you would miss eating a meal.

SECOND, come with a spirit of expectancy and obedience.  Expect God to meet you through His Word, and tell Him that you want to be taught by Him.  Come with a willingness to hear His Word and then to obey it.  Remember: God the Holy Spirit has inspired the Bible, and we must look expectantly to Him to illumine our understanding of it.

THIRD, read through the Bible systematically.  It is far too easy to dwell only on familiar passages, or skip around almost at random finding passages that happen to appeal to us.  But we need to understand “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27, RSV), and we need therefore to read and study every part of the Bible.  Some people find it helpful to have a plan by which they will cover the entire Bible in a year.

FOURTH, read thoughtfully and prayerfully, and then meditate on what you have read.  Some people pride themselves on covering a set number of chapters each day—but have no idea what they have read when they are finished!  In his helpful little booklet “Manna in the Morning,” Dr. Stephen F. Olford wrote, “Read the portion at least three times.  Read it carefully to discover what is there generally.  The next time, peruse it for what is there specially.  Then study it for what is there personally. … [Then] say: ‘Lord, as I look at this passage this morning, is there any command to obey?  Is there any promise to claim?  Is there any new thought to follow and pursue? Is there any sin to avoid?  Is there any new thought about God?  About the Lord Jesus?  About the Holy Spirit?  About the devil?’ Seek to discover what God is saying to you from the passage you have read.”

FIFTH, make prayer a central part of your time with God.  In our Bible study, God speaks to us; in our prayer times, we speak to God.  Make prayer first of all a time of praise and thanksgiving.  Then pray about the passage of Scripture you have just read, asking Him to show you specific ways that it applies to your life.  In addition, confess your sins to God.  Finally, bring before God your own needs and the needs of others.  Many people find it helpful to keep a prayer diary, in which they list those for whom they are praying and note God’s specific answers.

FINALLY, put what you have learned into action, and walk with Christ every minute of the day.  Perhaps God has been speaking to you in your quiet time about your relationship with someone in your family or a co-worker.  Commit that situation into His hands—and then move forward in obedience and faith, knowing that the Holy Spirit will help you as you seek to have a right relationship with that person.

From My Daily Prayer Journal With Insights By Billy Graham
(Now called Rooted in Prayer: A Personal Prayer Journal With Insights by Billy Graham)


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

PRAYER NOTE: APRIL 2017

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen

“The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on the beauty of Christ.  It is never weary of Him.”   —Jonathan Edwards

While we’ve had some roller-coaster weather patterns in Western North Carolina during the past several weeks, springtime at The Cove does not disappoint; it’s a season of beauty and new life. It’s fitting that at Easter, surrounded by the breathtaking display of color, growth and rebirth, we’re reminded of how God used the ugly reality of the cross—an instrument of death—to open the door to the beauty of His presence. Billy Graham spoke of the irony: “If Jesus had not risen from the dead, no right-minded person would have glorified anything so hideous and repulsive as a cross stained with the blood of Jesus…An unopened grave would never have opened heaven.”

On June 1st of last year, we gathered outside The Cove’s Chatlos Memorial Chapel for the dedication of Ruth’s Prayer Garden. We listened as Will Graham spoke of gardens mentioned in the Bible, beginning with the Garden of Eden, the exquisite garden paradise where sin first reared its ugly head. He went on to picture the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus sweat great drops of blood as He prayed, knowing the cup of suffering from which He would soon drink, yet surrendering His own will to the will of His Father. Soon after, He would rouse the sleepy disciples, Peter, James and John, and feel the cruel kiss of betrayal from another. Arrested and bound, Jesus left this garden and began the walk that would eventually lead to the cross. The next garden Jesus would be seen in was the one where He would emerge from a borrowed tomb, alive forever and victorious over sin and death.

As gardens go, we all agree Ruth would be pleased with the beautiful one that bears her name, yet we also know she would point the focus away from herself and on to her Savior.

As Cove staff, it’s our duty and privilege to steward the resources the Lord has blessed us with, and we’re honored to be the ones to help maintain and preserve its facilities and grounds. Our Property Services and Grounds Maintenance crew works hard all year round to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of this very special place. Lodging, Guest Services, and Building Maintenance staff do a great job of ensuring that our inns and Training Center are clean, safe, welcoming and well-maintained. It’s our goal that when guests arrive in this lovely mountain setting they are welcomed with hospitality and grace. While some of us play a more direct, hands-on role in caring for The Cove’s grounds and facilities, each of us plays a role in ultimate goal of this special place: honoring and exalting Christ and pointing others to Him.

The story is told that after Leonardo da Vinci completed his masterpiece “The Last Supper,” he invited a friend to view the finished work. “Observe it and give me your opinion of it!” the artist requested. In awe, da Vinci’s friend surveyed the artist’s masterful depiction of Jesus at table, surrounded on both sides by His disciples. Arms outstretched, Christ held a cup, painted beautifully with exquisite detail. “It’s wonderful!” the friend replied, “The cup is so real I cannot divert my eyes from it!” Immediately da Vinci took a brush and drew it across the cup, exclaiming, “Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!”

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As you pray for The Cove this month, ask God to help you serve faithfully in your daily tasks and pray that He will give you opportunities to point others to Him. Pray that all those who visit The Cove will sense His presence and see His likeness in each member of our staff. Ask God to work in the hearts of our speakers as they prepare. Pray that they will proclaim His Word with power, yet with a humility that points away from themselves and on to the Savior. Let’s pray that throughout every inch of this property, “Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!”

—Donna Riesen


Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.   (Psalm 95:6, NKJV)

April 2017 events to pray for:

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — April 3
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Ron Whittemore; Musician: David Gaines)

Ron Hutchcraft — April 6-8

An Evening at The Cove with David Phelps — April 27

 

PRAYER NOTE: JANUARY 2017

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

Happy New Year!  We look forward to what God has in store for His children this new year.  We hope this prayer, and the Scripture to follow, will give you words to meditate upon as you walk with Him into 2017.

The Spirit to Know You

A prayer by St. Benedict of Nursia

O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive Thee,
intelligence to understand Thee,
diligence to seek Thee,
patience to wait for Thee,
eyes to behold Thee,
a heart to meditate upon Thee,
and a life to proclaim Thee;
through the power of the Spirit
of Jesus Christ our Lord.


And our prayer for you from 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.


Join us in praying for the following events in January:

Women’s Morning Bible Study with Jane Derrick – January 10 – February 28

Women’s Evening Bible Study with Kendra Graham – January 10 – February 21

We also have many Guest Groups on property during the month of January, taking time to focus on God and His leading during their conferences, retreats, and ministry events.

Thank you for praying!

Prayer Note: November 2016

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)By Donna Riesen

GOD IS OUR REFUGE

Last month a four-year-old taught me a lesson in trusting God. Little Gracie entered the room where her grandma was watching the evening news just in time to hear the announcement of plans to close Disney World in anticipation of hurricane Matthew. Her grandma explained that since a big storm was coming to Florida, they were going to have to close the Magic Kingdom in order to keep people safe. Eyes wide with alarm, Gracie exclaimed, “But what about the princesses? I hope they run into the castle right now and lock the door!”

My favorite image of Gracie is from last summer’s Fourth of July barbecue. Wearing a pink tutu, a tiara, and a red-white-and blue “Super Girl” cape, she’s standing in the crook of a tree, held safe by her father’s strong arms. Gracie’s a brave and spunky little girl; yet even at the age of four—a magical time when fairly tales seem real—she knows there are some things way bigger than a prince, a princess, or even Super Girl.

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Gracie knows what to do when a storm is coming. Do we?

RUN TO THE REFUGE

None of us will make it through this life without being hit by a storm. A raging tempest of trouble may arrive in the form of serious illness, divorce or financial loss. The windows of our soul may be rattled by the cold winds of anxiety, fear and worry. Our emotional life may be overshadowed by heavy clouds of disappointment, heartbreak, depression, grief or loneliness. And we may become frustrated and discouraged as we view the path of destruction left in the wake of overwhelming tempests of evil and injustice blowing throughout the world.

It’s human nature to run for cover when we see dark clouds gathering, and our destination matters greatly. For Christians, the only wise move is to run to the Refuge. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NASB).

Does this mean we’re cowards? Weaklings who must lean on religion as a coping mechanism? It means we are human. When life’s hurricane of hardship begins to blow, some run to the protective refuge of money, power, or financial security. Others seek to escape from hurt and disappointment through alcohol or drug binges. The list of man-made storm shelters is a mile long, and most of us have at one time or another sought refuge in one of them.

The Old Testament book of Psalms is filled with references to God as our refuge. In times of trouble and distress the psalmist found his security and protection in Almighty God, his shelter and safe haven through the storms of life. A survey of the book gives a beautiful picture of God as our refuge in every situation:

Heartbreak, Sorrow or Grief —Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8, NIV).

Worry or Anxiety —Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever, let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:1-4, NASB).

Then there’s the general, catch-all category of “Trouble” —But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him” (Psalm 37:39-40, NASB).

Whatever stormy situation you may be experiencing in life, turn to the Word of God for encouragement and strength; then pour out your heart to Him in prayer, thanking Him for being your “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NASB).

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”  (Psalm 34:8, NASB)

Please continue to pray for all those who were affected by Hurricane Matthew, as well as for the Samaritan’s Purse volunteers and other relief workers who are responding to aid the hardest hit areas.

As you pray for the needs of The Cove in the month of November, ask God to reveal Himself as a refuge for those who come here with deep hurts and heavy hearts due to storms they may be encountering.


Join us in praying for the following events in November:

November 2016 EVENTS
All seminars in 2016 are free (lodging and meal fees apply).
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — November 2-4
(Facilitators: John Parrish and Trish Lancaster)

Anne Graham Lotz and Rachel-Ruth Wright — November 4-6
Emcee: Traynor Reitmeier; Worship Leader: Fernando Ortega; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Passing the Baton of Truth to the Next Generation

Click here to join Anne and Rachel-Ruth for this seminar via live stream simulcast.
(3-day simulcast begins Friday, November 4. Cost is $30)

An Evening at The Cove with Fernando Ortega — November 6
Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

R. Albert Mohler Jr. — November 7-9
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Joe Horness; Pastor-in-Residence: Ed Graham) Leadership Renewal Retreat: The Conviction to Lead

Don Wilton and Rob Wilton — November 15-17
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Ed Graham)
The Power of One: The Key to Praying and Fasting

Thank you for praying!

Saturday Snapshot – Photo Challenge Recap

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The Cove’s 14-Day #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge is all done!
We debuted our photo challenge in the Saturday Snapshot post
three weeks ago.

#InTheGardenPhotoChallenge was all about putting a spotlight on the aesthetic and spiritual beauty in and surrounding a garden.

On The Cove’s Instagram (@thecovenc) feed we shared
images from the newly opened Ruth’s Prayer Garden each day.

How it worked: We asked everyone to post one photo per day on their personal Instagram and/or Facebook that followed our daily prompt. Everyone then included the hashtag #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge in their post!

Following are the images we shared, as well as some from others who have joined in and shared from their neck of the woods.

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June 1: Bloom

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June 2: Light

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June 3: Tree Bark

BARK(small)

June 4: Sky

SKY(small)

June 5: Cloud

CLOUD(small)

June 6: Green

GREEN(small)

 June 7: Moss

MOSS(small)

June 8: Stone

STONE(small)

June 9: Fragrance

FRAGRANCE(small)

June 10: Bird

BIRD(small)

June 11: Pathway

PATHWAY(small)

June 12: Prayer

PRAYER(small)

June 13: Growth

GROWTH(small)

June 14: Sanctuary 

SANCTUARY(small)

Thanks to everyone who has shared photos of their gardens with us!

See some of their photos here:

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We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.

Click here for directions and operating hours.
Make sure to leave time to tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center while you’re here too.  Both tours are free.

And don’t forget to follow The Cove on Instagram @thecovenc.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Saturday Snapshot – Ruth’s Prayer Garden Dedication

Ruth Bell Graham lived a life committed to and dependent on prayer.  Several years ago, she wrote these words as a reflection on how we should pray:  As we come to this garden of prayer, we come being reminded that we come to acknowledge our Father. As we come into His presence, we come being anxious or worried about nothing. We come to worship Him in everything.

This past Wednesday, June 1, 2016, Ruth’s Prayer Garden was officially dedicated with a special message from her grandson, Will Graham, executive director at The Cove.

“Prayer is our umbilical cord to our Heavenly Father,  This is going to be a place of spiritual life and vitality.” Will Graham said of the 1.5 acre garden featuring more than 150 plant varieties.

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Over 150 people in attendance at the dedication.

Listen and watch as over 150 people in attendance  on Wednesday lifted their voices unto the Lord in worship and adoration.

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Ruth’s Prayer Garden — a garden for every season.
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The garden is a lovely place to stroll and take in all the beauty.
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Beautiful violin music played in the garden before the dedication began.

Watch as the violinist played throughout the the garden paths.

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Benches are placed throughout the garden so one can sit and pray.
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It was fun having so many people enjoying the garden at one time!
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A beautiful rose still fresh with dew during the dedication.
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Over 150 plant species are present in the garden. There will be something in bloom every season.
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Prayer. This is what Ruth would have loved to see taking place in this garden.
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Thankful for the leadership on this project from Lucas, The Cove’s supervisor of grounds maintenance. That’s a wooden bow tie he’s sporting!

We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.  Click here for directions and operating hours.  Make sure to leave time to tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center while you’re here too.  Both tours are free.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Prayer Note: June

We hope that you will enjoy our “prayer note” — an internal communication, here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We will share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)By Donna Riesen

The Planting of Seeds

We at The Cove have looked forward to the opening of Ruth’s Prayer Garden, as our Grounds Maintenance team, led by horticulturist Lucas Jack, has been hard at work for months, planting and cultivating the seeds of this garden of prayer. Their job may at times feel thankless, and there are usually a few days a year, during the cold winter months of January and February, when they are quite literally “snowed under” with work. Yet we praise God for each of these dedicated workers who serve God, the Master Gardener, so faithfully.

A walk through the newly opened Prayer Garden will reveal the results of their labor: Seeds planted in the cold ground of February that have blossomed in the warmth of spring. Ruth Bell Graham understood well this concept of anticipation—walking by faith and living in expectancy of answered prayer to come. The Cove itself was born from the seeds of faith sowed by Billy and Ruth as they walked the undeveloped property and prayed for God’s will. I believe The Cove represents “exceedingly abundantly” answered prayer, “above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

The Arrival of Spring

Today, the colorful, serene garden stands as a lush and living testimony to this remarkable woman who left behind a legacy of faith and prayer. Her vision for The Cove to become a place of rest, relaxation, refreshment and renewal has been realized. Ruth’s Prayer Garden is named in honor of this woman who made a life-long habit of “waiting on the Lord” in prayer.

Billy Graham’s original vision for The Cove has also come to pass. Each year, thousands come to find The Cove as a place of impact, intercession, instruction and inspiration. The garden itself was designed to be a place of intercession—a restful, relaxing place where visitors will find refreshment and renewal as they pray and seek God’s face.

During the month of June, let’s commit to honor the Lord’s command and carry on the legacy of Ruth Bell Graham by remaining faithful in the ministry of prayer and intercession. Let’s determine to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV). In her own eloquent way, Ruth echoed the Apostle Paul’s exhortation in her poem entitled, “Pray.”

Ruth Bell Graham

JUNE 2016 EVENTS
All seminars in 2016 are free (lodging and meal fees apply.)
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)

Dedication of Ruth’s Prayer Garden — June 1

We Will Not Bow: Lessons in Courage from the Life of Daniel
with Darren Thomas — June 3-5

Intensive Bible Training: The Bible’s Roadmap: Living Confidently in Christ with Woodrow Kroll — June 20-24

Intensive Bible Training: The Arrival of the Day of the Lord
with Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.  — June 27- July 1

Thank you for praying!

Something New at The Cove: Ruth’s Prayer Garden

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“We cannot pray and remain the same. We cannot pray and have our homes remain the same. We cannot pray and have the world about us remain the same. God has decreed to act in response to prayer. ‘Ask,’ He commands us. And Satan trembles for fear we will.”  —Ruth Bell Graham,  Legacy of a Pack Rat

By Donna Riesen:

Ruth Bell Graham was a woman of prayer; and Ruth’s Prayer Garden, opening June 2, 2016 at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, is designed to honor her memory and encourage others to pray. As the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, Ruth’s schedule was packed full with commitments—at times she traveled with her husband to crusades around the world, yet most often Ruth supported him behind the scenes and out of the spotlight by shouldering the responsibility of caring for their five children at their home in Montreat. This remarkable woman could not have had the impact she had on her husband, her family, and the world, without the daily discipline of prayer.

Winding along pathways surrounding Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Ruth’s Prayer Garden will offer a peaceful place for prayer and meditation amid the natural beauty and serenity of The Cove.

“My grandfather wanted this place to be known as a mountain of prayer,” says Will Graham, executive director of The Cove and grandson of Billy and Ruth. “There’s prayer going out all over The Cove, from our Intercessory Prayer Team to our staff prayers to our Personal Spiritual Retreats. There are so many needs facing us today, we can’t pray enough!”

“Like The Cove itself, this garden is designed to be an extension of my grandparents’ home at Montreat,” Will says.

With five children in the household, the Graham home was a place of laughter, activity, and the usual childhood scrapes and squabbles; but more importantly, it was a place of prayer.

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“I would go down to her room late at night,” daughter Anne Graham Lotz remembers. “I would see the light on underneath the door and I’d go in, and she would be on her knees in prayer.”

Daughter Ruth Graham reflects, “Faith was the very heartbeat of life at Little Piney Cove. We began and ended each day as a family on our knees in prayer.”

Ruth’s Prayer Garden was created to honor and perpetuate this legacy of prayer.

The garden was also designed to be a reflection of Ruth’s love of nature and appreciation for the beauty of her North Carolina mountain home. Lucas Jack, horticulturist and supervisor of Grounds Maintenance at The Cove, explains how great care was taken to convey Ruth’s personality as a gardener and plant- lover. When asked about the process of planning and designing the gardenscape, Jack noted, “Everything that I know of Ruth Graham has been learned secondhand, which is difficult when trying to piece together a ‘botanical personality.’ I learned she really didn’t have dislikes but had a lot of favorites. She loved color and appreciated gardens in general, and we’ve tried to convey her botanical personality by including many of the plants and flowers she loved.”

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Roses, daylilies, touch-me- nots will line the winding paths. “Our goal was not to overwhelm the visitor with the landscape,” Jack says, “but to allow them to enjoy the experience and feel as if they are part of it.”

Ruth’s love for color and beauty may have been the result of two strong childhood influences: her early childhood years in China as the daughter of medical missionaries, and her teen years in Montreat.

According to grandson Will, “My great-grandfather Nelson Bell loved gardens and gardening. He loved flowers and plants, and he used them to teach lessons to his children. When we work with our hands in a garden, God teaches us things.”

If she were here today, Ruth Bell Graham would probably agree. When you visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden, enjoy the view and take time to smell the roses; then bow your head and echo the disciples’ request to Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1, NKJV)

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We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.  Click here for directions and operating hours.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.