Category Archives: Prayer prompt

June Prayer Note

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)

“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.” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)

 The Stories Jesus Told: Renewing Our Minds Through the Parables

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV)

Do you recall sensing the presence of the Lord the first time you drove into The Cove?  Perhaps you have been told by guests, “I felt the presence of God as I arrived on property.”  It’s a common refrain we enjoy and will never tire of hearing.   But, even more, it’s an answer to the prayers of our founders and staff.

At The Cove dedication in May of 1993, Billy Graham told of his and Ruth’s visits to this property.  The Grahams, “came over and looked at The Cove several times.  One day, she and I walked up this mountain and climbed to the top, came down about half way and then she and I had a prayer meeting ourselves, just the two of us.  And we dedicated this property to the Lord.”

Each department across Cove property could tell of times the Lord has gone before them, prompting them to speak to someone, to double check something, to pray for a specific guest or co-worker, to share a particular Scripture, to make a phone call.  Later they would discover how the thing they were prompted to do was the very thing someone needed or the detail they might have missed had they not been obedient to His prompting.  Yes, the Lord goes before us and we are so grateful.  If it were left up to us, we would certainly fail.  Yet, as we serve and seek the Lord, we have the assurance He is involved in the details of The Cove’s workings, as well as the intimate details of our personal comings and goings.

Mr. Graham, determined this property should be used for none other than the Lord’s purposes, made the following bold statement, “I give God the glory for making The Cove possible.  If The Cove ever departs from this vision, then ‘Ichabod’ – the Lord hath departed – will be written over this place. And may every one of us pray this will never happen to The Cove.”

As you pray this month, inviting the Lord into June’s events at The Cove, remember to pray that we stay true to His calling, for His glory.  What great assurance we have knowing it is the people the Lord loves, cares about and goes before – our guests, our leadership, our co-workers and you.

Written by: Laura Brown


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

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.

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

Follow us on social media. click map

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Prayer Note for April

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.

 

A God Who Senses All

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15, NASB).

In God’s amazing design for the human body, He gave us multiple senses through which we explore and understand the world. Think about grandma’s chocolate cake. Our lips taste the sweetness, our nose smells the richness, and our hands feel the soft texture of a delicious dessert. Similarly, our eyes absorb the beauty of a setting sun or post-thunderstorm rainbow, while our ears perk up at the power of a full symphony or soulful choir. We are blessed because God gave us multiple senses through which we establish a richer understanding of the people and places around us.

In Psalm 34, we are reminded that God similarly uses His senses to absorb every moment of our heartfelt prayers. In fact, verse 15 says that His eyes are “toward the righteous.” What an image! Think about that for a moment. God runs toward us, seeking to hear, see, and feel our every word and emotion, with joy and without distraction. God’s ears yearn to hear every cry of pain or scream of anguish that life’s challenges bring our way. His hands ache to hold the wet tears that fall down our faces in seasons of grief or loss, while His eyes rest lovingly on our crumpled bodies broken by relational heartache, illness, grief, or rejection.

I think it’s one thing to say, “God hears our prayers,” but it’s an entirely different image in our heads and hearts when we imagine each prayer wrapped entirely in all of His senses. And it is this image of an all-sensing Savior that reminds me that I can pour my whole self, ugly tears and all, into precious moments of prayer. The more He sees, hears, and touches during my prayers, the greater my strength will become. Let’s keep praying!                                                                                                                                            – Lori Brown


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

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.

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

Follow us on social media. click map

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Prayer Note for January 2019

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.

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11, NASB).

Tuesday, January 8, and subsequent Tuesday mornings throughout the month of January will find the Training Center filled with the sound of women’s laughter and excited chatter as ladies gather to attend our morning Bible study.  Please pray for our new speaker, Dottie Edwards, as she leads these women in a study of God’s Word each Tuesday morning from January 8 through March 5.  Pray also for Kendra Graham as she continues to teach in our Tuesday evening Women’s Bible Study, January 8 through February 26.

Here are some specific ways in which you can pray for The Cove throughout the month of January:

  • Pray that many women from the Asheville community and surrounding areas will be drawn to come to The Cove to study God’s Word.
  • Pray for Dottie Edwards to teach God’s Word with courage, boldness and great joy as she shares the truth that Hope in Christ Matters. Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the lives of each individual, revealing to them the hope that comes from knowing God and claiming His promises.
  • Pray for Kendra Graham to teach the Scriptures with clarity, accuracy and excitement and she takes the ladies of a journey of discovery through the desert of the exodus, revealing with undeniable certainty that God—The Great I AM—is enough. Pray for each participant to take this truth to heart and discover for themselves that God is enough for their every need.
  • Pray for Michelle Bachelor as she leads the team each week.
  • Pray for emcees Patty Stump and Jill Gottenstrater as they welcome the ladies, support our speakers and share important information each week.
  • Pray for safety for each carload of women that enters and leaves our gates.
  • Pray for sweet fellowship and for new relationships to be formed as sisters in Christ join together for study, small group times and around the tables in our dining room.
  • Pray for Cove Staff who will serve in various capacities each Tuesday and throughout the week. Ask the Lord to let Jesus be seen on our faces and heard through our words as we: take calls for registration and lunch reservations…welcome cars coming through our gatehouse…answer questions at the Front Desk…prepare handouts and program materials…run the sound system and advance slides…greet guests entering the doors of our Training Center and Chapel…clean buildings…maintain our roads and grounds…prepare and serve food…clear tables…prepare schedules…and carry out a multitude of other tasks and assignments!

Written by: Donna Riesen


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

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.

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

 

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Prayer Note: December

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11, NASB).

Finding Meaning in the Mess

Anyone who has watched a young child open Christmas gifts knows the aftermath of messiness. As they rip the paper, bows, and boxes with their tiny hands, strips of paper and shreds of cardboard go flying through the air. Despite the joy and excitement of the frequent squeals of delight, the fact remains that Christmas is rather messy. But when you stop and think about it, the very first Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ) was similarly very messy. There was nothing glamorous, pretty, or restful about His arrival in Bethlehem. From a smelly barn to a damp and musty bed of hay, Jesus entered this world already despised and rejected. Plus, there was the additional messiness of the difficult journey that Mary endured while nine months pregnant: “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child” (Luke 2:4-5, NIV).

Making the 80-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem for census registration was no easy feat, especially since it had to be done by foot or by donkey. Everything about the journey preceding the time of Jesus’ birth was just downright difficult.

Praises in the Pain

But in the midst of this mess came the Christ child and a band of angels singing and shouting praises to God for His goodness, kindness, and mercy. In other words, amidst the less than ideal conditions, God’s people found a moment of pure delight. And isn’t that image of praise amidst the problems a powerful reminder and model of our approach to times of intimacy and prayer with the Savior?

Let’s just face facts. Our lives are often very messy. We face the fear and worry of illness, separation, pain, and loneliness. We confront seasons in which our natural inclination is to run far away from the messiness of divorce, death, depression, unemployment, rebellion, and addiction, because facing the pain is too much to bear. In these difficult days, it rarely feels like Christmas or a time of praise. But it is in these seasons of deepest doubt, fear, and worry that God reminds us that He hears our weeping. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

Consider the following promises of God’s compassion: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NIV). “I cried out to Him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:17-20, NIV). “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV).

Continuous Praises

If you stop and think about it, the one thing missing from the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is a string of complaints. Instead of bemoaning the ugliness and harshness of travel, homelessness, and a make-shift delivery room in an animal’s trough, Mary and Joseph and the Magi found sweet praise in the pain of this messy first Christmas celebration. From the earliest days of her pregnancy, Mary took the time to sing praises before her King, elevating the majesty of God during moments of prayer and reflection (see Luke 1 – the Magnificat).

A Christmas Challenge

Perhaps this Christmas finds you in a mess. Perhaps everything about life is currently very ugly, painful, and dreadful, and the last thing you want to do is praise the One who made you. It’s difficult in seasons of hurt to find a voice of praise and contentment. It’s hard to pray when we are pained. But never forget that our God does His best work in our messes. Jesus’ life was surrounded by a lot of mess, but the messiness of this world’s rejection gave us eternal salvation. Even when the last thing you feel like doing this Christmas is praying, look up to the heavens and begin to sing praise. Call out the name of Jesus over and over until you find rest in His arms. Never forget that our Messiah holds us most tightly in our messes, because He loves us too much to ever let us go.

Written by: Lori Brown, staff at The Cove


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

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.

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

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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PRAYER NOTE: NOVEMBER 2018

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.”
(Psalm 126:3, NKJV)

Thank you for your faithful prayers for The Cove — we’ve seen the Lord’s faithfulness in amazing ways this year. The beginning of the year saw the passing of our beloved founder, Billy Graham; yet even amid the loss we saw evidence of God’s hand as the gospel was proclaimed and the Graham family strengthened, upheld and comforted.

Our 2018 seminar season will end with the Erwin Lutzer seminar scheduled for November 16-18; then things will get festive as our Christmas at The Cove concerts begin!

As we near the end of this year’s seminar season and move into November and the Thanksgiving celebration, it’s good to look back and express our gratitude at all that the Lord has done here at The Cove. When you lack the words to express your praise, there’s nothing like reviewing a passage from the book of Psalms to give voice to your thankfulness:

 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!  I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.  When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.  Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,  who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;  7 who executes justice for the oppressed,  who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;  the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.  The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.  10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!   (Psalm 146:1-10, ESV)

 We know the Lord keeps His promises and is true to His Word. He is faithful, and we’ve seen Him at work during Cove seminars and retreats this year. It might be best to allow our guests to give Him the praise in their own words.

The Lord sets the prisoners free…

“I had been holding onto areas in my life.  At The Cove I surrendered it all to Jesus.” (Evaluation comment, Chip Ingram Military Marriage Retreat, May 2018)

“[I’ve decided] to truly let Jesus be in control of my life and to allow the Holy Spirit to be the voice I hear, not Satan’s. To make God’s promises my reality.” (Evaluation comment, Will Graham seminar, August 2018)

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind…

“I have been lovingly convicted about the ways in which I grieve the Holy Spirit and ask His help to refrain from it.”

“The Holy Spirit selected this seminar for me because He knew that I needed to know more about Him.”

(Evaluation comments, James Merritt seminar, October 2018)

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down…

“God reassured me that the trials in my life were always multi-faceted, not just for my growth, but to also be a platform to share Christ with others and ultimately bring Him glory.  I also reflected on truly grieving my circumstances and trusting God to be enough.” (Evaluation comment, Lisa Harper Women’s seminar, July 2018)

“Renewed my commitment to continue serving the church, even though they are rural, elderly, and very small in number.”
(Evaluation comment, Jim Henry Pastor Renewal Retreat, May 2018)

“My wife and I have been experiencing a very difficult time at our church.  We still don’t know what we will do, but we have purposed to walk in joy!” (Evaluation comment, Jim Henry Pastor Renewal Retreat, May 2018)

The Lord loves the righteous…

“[I gained] a deeper understanding of my identity in Christ and of His amazing, all-sufficient grace!”
(Evaluation comment, Pete Briscoe seminar, June 2018)

“What touched me most from the teaching is that the Holy Spirit loves me. I never thought that. I always knew the Holy Spirit was a person. I regarded Him as a Him, but it never struck me that He loves me just like Jesus does and just like God does.”
(Testimony excerpt, James Merritt seminar, October 2018)

The Lord watches over the sojourners…

“I had a horrible wreck two days ago, prior to coming to the Cove, and God just spent this time with me nurturing and restoring me and telling me I was saved because he loves me.”
(Evaluation comment, Tony Evans seminar, July 2018)

“We have been praying for guidance. When my husband retires we are going to be full-time missionaries. God has given us more direction and confirmation through prayers.”
(Evaluation comment, Michael Easley Military Marriage Retreat, March 2018)

He upholds the widow and the fatherless…

“While hiking, I met two women who helped me be reminded that God is the best and only Father my kids and I need.”

“I don’t need to struggle with loneliness.  He is always right by side: my ‘BFF’…my brother…my Daddy.”

(Evaluation comments, Lisa Harper Women’s Seminar, July 2018)

 

These testimonies are just a small taste of God’s goodness and faithfulness in 2018. As you continue to serve the Lord in whatever role He has placed you, remember these testimonies of how He has worked in your life and in the lives of His children who visited The Cove.  “He who calls you is faithful” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, ESV). Remember that rock-solid truth, and praise Him for it!

—Donna Riesen


We appreciate your prayers for these events that will take place at The Cove in November:

An Evening at The Cove with Selah — November 1
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

Jim Henry — November 2-4
(Emcee: Michael Everhart; Worship Leader: Selah; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
Faith: The Bridge Between What Is and What Can Be

Henry, Richard and Mike Blackaby — November 5-7
(Emcee: Michael Everhart; Worship Leader: Johnny Prettyman; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
Questions from Heaven: The Greatest Ever Asked

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — November 7-9
(Facilitators: John Parrish and Trish Lancaster)

Joe Stowell — November 12-14
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Michael O’Brien; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
The Power of a Transformed Life

Erwin Lutzer — November 16-18
(Emcee: John Parrish; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg; Pastor-in-Residence: David Taylor)
Cries From the Cross: A Journey Into the Heart of Jesus

Christmas at The Cove with Annie Moses Band — November 29
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

Christmas at The Cove with Sisters — November 30
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)


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

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.

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

Follow us on social media.click map

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest

PRAYER NOTE: SMALL THINGS

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.

SMALL THINGS

From tiny houses to minimalist design…small is big right now. There are websites, blogs and apps to help you reduce clutter and downsize anything from your wardrobe to your life.  Taken in the right spirit, this new appreciation for smallness can be a good and positive thing—a counterbalance to the excesses we so often fall into.

But what if the only thing small in your life is your bank account, your education, or your list of accomplishments? What if your trial looms large in comparison to your tiny store of strength, courage or faith?

A BIG TASK

The Old Testament book of Zechariah contains messages of hope for the future as it records the prophet’s words to the people of Judah who were returning to Jerusalem after their 70-year exile in Babylon. After his initial call to repentance (Zechariah 1:1-6), Zechariah turns to recording visions of encouragement and reassurance given by God to His people. Faced with the enormous task of rebuilding the temple, the returning exiles felt small indeed.

Hounded by a lack of resources which included crop failures and financial distress, God’s people needed the encouraging visions God shared through His prophet.  They needed a reminder that their smallness would not hinder the completion of the work they’d been called to do.

The book of Zechariah is not simply a long cheerleading session or a collection of motivational speeches. It is a proclamation of the omnipotent God’s plan for His people. “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem’” (Zechariah 1:16, NKJV).

A GREAT GOD

Zechariah delivered the encouraging promise that the temple would indeed be built, despite the seemingly meager resources of the returned exiles: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6, NKJV).

“Zerubbabel’s hands have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you. For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the Lord, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zechariah 4:9-10, HCSB).

Through these words, the great God who had called His people to be a reflection of His glory was giving them the assurance that the seemingly impossible task facing them would be completed. Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, had begun the work of building the Lord’s house, “and his hands will complete it,” the Lord declared. With such an assurance, who would indeed “scorn the day of small things?”

As believers today we may not be called to build a physical temple, but our great God calls even the smallest of us to participate in the great work of building His kingdom. Regardless of the part we’re called to play, the key is to work for His glory and not our own. When we seek to have God’s vision for the world, we begin to recognize our own smallness and learn to depend upon and magnify His greatness.

We come to God in a prayer of humility, recognizing our weakness and casting ourselves on the one who is all-powerful—Almighty.  We bow before Him in repentance, confessing our sinfulness and placing our trust in the Savior who is holy, just and sinless, yet merciful and forgiving. We come to Him in need, acknowledging our lack of resources and leaning on our loving Father who knows our need before we ask. (See Matthew 6:8.)

The “day of small things” may not be an easy or comfortable day, but praise God it can be a day of deep spiritual growth for each of us if makes us recognize our need and drives us even lower to our knees.

A TIMELESS PROMISE

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV).

—Donna Riesen


SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — October 1
 (Emcee/Worship Leader: Ron Whittemore)

Jonathan Falwell — October 1-3
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
The Power and Promise of Heaven: Letting Our Tomorrow Guide Our Today

James Merritt — October 3-5
(Emcee: John Parrish; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg; Pastor-in-Residence: David Taylor)
A Holy Who? God’s Spirit and Our Relationship to Him

An Evening at The Cove with Laura Story — October 7
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

Kay Arthur & David Arthur — October 8-10
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Stephanie Seefeldt; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
Dying to Live: Exploring the Crucified Life

Prescription for Renewal — October 12-14  (and Missionary Medicine Seminar — October 11-12)
(Main Speakers: Jim Cymbala and Joni Eareckson Tada; Host: Franklin Graham)

Albert Mohler, Jr.— October 23-25
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)

Pastor Renewal Retreat — The Bible’s Story as the Story of the World: How Biblical Theology Rescues Ministry from Triviality

Bob Russell — October 29-31
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Johnny Prettyman; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Living Confidently in Turbulent Times


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

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.

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

Follow us on social media.click map

PRAYER NOTE: RESOLVE TO REMEMBER

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.

RESOLVE TO REMEMBER

The first day of school has come and gone for millions of children throughout the country. Supplies have been purchased and parental wallets emptied. New teachers have been met and homework assignments commenced. And tears have dampened the concrete sidewalks of many an elementary school as parents dropped off wide-eyed children for the first day of first grade. (More often than not, the tears were from the red-rimmed eyes of parents rather than from the students.)

MEMORY KEEPERS

Prior to making that first trip to school, many eager little ones have stood smiling on the doorstep of their home, holding a “First Day of First Grade” sign so Mom could capture the momentous occasion in a Facebook or Instagram post. Each adorable image of a smiling child armed with a new backpack and clean white sneakers reminds us that there are certain times in our lives when we consciously desire to preserve a memory—occasions when we are acutely aware of the fact that time moves swiftly and treasured moments pass. The six-year-old might be clueless as to the twelve-year journey he or she is embarking upon; but Mom and Dad understand the significance, and they seek to preserve the memory with more than just a mental snapshot.  Someday they want this child to look back and marvel at how far they have come and how much they have learned.

God understands it too. Memory is a priceless gift He’s blessed us with; and it’s far more than just a helpful resource for compiling grocery lists, getting high test scores or remembering people’s names. Our God-given capacity for memory can strengthen our faith and enhance our prayer life. Throughout His Word, God instructs us to recall the past and remember His faithfulness.

I WILL REMEMBER

There are examples of this throughout the Scriptures, especially in the book of Psalms.  I have considered the days of old, the years of long ago. I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders:  Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah. Then I said, ‘It is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High has changed.  I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God?  You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.  You have by Your power redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah” (Psalm 77:5-12, NASB).

 Psalms 105 and 106 are summaries of the Lord’s patient dealing with Israel, despite their pattern of willfulness and propensity to wander. We can recognize the repetitive pattern in our own lives: “Then they believed His words and sang His praise. They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for Hhis counsel” (Psalm 106:12-13, NKJV).  Yet praise God for the words “He remembered” that occur multiple times in these two chapters. “He remembers His covenant forever” (Psalm 105:8, NKJV). “For He remembered His holy promise” (Psalm 105:42, NKJV).  “And for their sake He remembered His covenant” (Psalm 106:45, NKJV). Even when we are forgetful, He remembers.

In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah, “The Weeping Prophet,” recalls God’s loving kindness and faithfulness even in the midst of His judgement of Israel:  “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:20-24, NASB).

LESSONS FROM A FORGOTTEN LUNCH

Jesus Himself reminded His own disciples of the importance of recalling God’s faithfulness. In Matthew 16:6, He spoke of their being “on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Saducees.” The disciples took this simply as a subtle reference to the fact that they had forgotten to bring bread to eat. “But Jesus, aware of this, said, ‘You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?  Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?  Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?’” (Matthew 16: 8-10, NASB).  With these words their Master was encouraging them to recall two very recent instances of God’s provision and faithfulness. Because Jesus knew the missing bread incident involved more than just missing lunch, He turned it into a learning opportunity. His disciples had yet to understand their need to look beyond their earthly circumstances and look up to their Heavenly Father and provider. He knew their needs were greater than the simple lack of physical nourishment; they had need of spiritual depth and discernment.

As we look ahead to the busy fall season, let’s determine to look with the eyes of faith. And when faith grows dim and doubt creeps in or our meager resources seem inadequate, let’s search our memories for reminders of the times when God has shown Himself faithful.  Let’s ask Him to give us long memories, grateful hearts and strong faith. Let’s resolve to remember.

Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, HCSB)

—Donna Riesen


We appreciate your prayers for these upcoming September events:

Richard Blackaby — September 4-5
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz)
Pastor Renewal Retreat— Leading Out of the Overflow

 Erwin Lutzer — September 5-7
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
The Inheritance of the Redeemed

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — September 7-9
(Facilitator: John Parrish)

Jerry Vines — September 10-12
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Tom Bledsoe; Artists: Overflow, John Innes; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
SeniorCelebration — Songs for the Journey: Four Psalms to Live By

Gary Thomas— September 14-16
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
Military Marriage Retreat — Cherish: God’s Way to Change Everything for Your Marriage

An Evening at The Cove with CeCe Winans — September 18(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)


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

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.

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

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Playing with Boxes: Prayer Devotional

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)

 

PLAYING WITH BOXES

I recently saw a video of a toddler who received a mini-trampoline for Christmas.  After unwrapping the gift (with some assistance) and seeing the bright, colorful picture of a trampoline, he carefully climbed up onto the lid of the box, stood up, and began jumping up and down on the image of the trampoline!

Are we ever guilty of doing the same thing with God? He has given us the privilege of communicating with Him by means of prayer; and in a miraculous gift of His grace, He’s given us His promise to hear and answer (see Psalm 34:15, Matthew 7:11, John 15:16 and 1 John 5:14). Yet often our time is dedicated to everything but prayer. We read books and blog posts and articles on prayer, we download podcasts on prayer, we have prayer journals on our nightstands and prayer reminders on our iPhones. But do we pray? The books and blogs and podcasts are all good and helpful things, but if all we do is read about prayer, we’re like the toddler jumping on the cardboard box. God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to speak into our hearts, and He desires to share His own heart with us as we pray. Still, there are times when we’re guilty of simply looking at the pictures or jumping on the box rather than investing the time and effort for serious prayer.

Until we “open the box” to receive and use this powerful means of communicating and communing with our allpowerful God, we will only be wasting our energy—like the child jumping on the picture of the trampoline. He might experience a few brief moments of fun pretending he’s jumping on a trampoline, but until he experiences
the real thing, he won’t know what he’s missing. Our prayer life can be so much richer than simply giving thanks before meals and drowsily praying a few sleepy lines before we drift off to sleep.

Like the loving parent who gently removed the child from the box lid and then took out all the parts and assembled the trampoline, God desires to give us what we need for our prayers to become airborne. How do we get our prayer life off the ground? God Himself gives us the desire to pray (Philippians 2:13) and the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 12:3), and He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us in our praying (Romans 8:26). Despite our apathy, weak faith and long list of excuses, we need only look up to our “Abba” Father and voice a simple plea for help.

“Help me, please, Lord! I’m all out of excuses and I’m tired of jumping on cardboard boxes. I want to know more of You and hear You speak. I want to be a faithful intercessor, praying on behalf of my family and friends, my church, and my country. I want to have Your heart—one that is broken over my sin and broken over the needs of a lost world that needs You. Lord, teach me to pray!”

If we ask Him, the Lord will put the pieces together for us and draw us into deeper communion with Him. God will give us the desire to pray and the time to pray, and the faith to believe; and His Holy Spirit will guide us and prompt us with regard to who we should intercede for and how we should pray on their behalf.

Our loving Father has told us to come to Him with our needs and requests. So jump in with both feet and pray!

Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, HCSB)

By: Donna Riesen

We appreciate your prayers for these upcoming August events:

Steve Brown — August 3-5 
(Emcee: Michael Everhart; Worship Leader: John Chisum; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
How to Be Right Without Being Insufferable

 Will Graham — August 10-12
(Emcee: Traynor Reitmeier; Worship Leader: Mark Christian; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
Satan’s Snares and God’s Goodness

 Stuart and Jill Briscoe — August 13-15
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Tom Bledsoe; Artist: John Innes; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
SeniorCelebration — A Celebration in the Psalms

 R.T. Kendall — August 20-24
(Emcee: Michael Everhart; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
Intensive Bible Training — Popular in Heaven, Famous in Hell

 Chip Ingram — August 24-26
(Emcee: Bill Wolfe; Worship Leader: Stephanie Seefeldt; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Why I Believe

 Herb Reavis, Jr. — August 27-29
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Stephanie Seeffeldt; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
The Second Coming: Hope for the Here and Now

 


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

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.

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

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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