Behind The Scenes…Intercessory Prayer at The Cove

We are blessed to have over 100 volunteers at The Cove.  From helping you find a seat in the auditorium, to guiding you on a tour in our Chapel and Visitor’s Center, to praying over our guest’s and visitor’s prayer requests, these faithful servants play a vital role in our ministry. 

Pam is a volunteer at The Cove who helps out in administration and is on the Intercessory Prayer Team.  Read on as she gives you a BEHIND THE SCENES look at her role here.       


As a volunteer at the Cove one of the things I am involved in is the Intercessory Prayer team.  I feel it truly is a privilege and honor to be trusted and asked to pray for the concerns others have on their hearts.

As a team we are praying for an average of 900 different prayer cards that are turned in at The Cove each month. These cards are available on site in various locations for the guests and visitors on property.  So, how does it work?  When guests are here for a seminar or other event, they can fill out a prayer card(s) with requests and concerns that God lays on their hearts.  They drop the card(s) in the one of the prayer boxes that are located throughout the property. These cards are collected and given to members of our prayer team who immediately begin praying for them. Each of the cards is prayed over at least 4 times, and then destroyed.

There are 20 members on the Prayer Team who sign up for different time slots to be on Cove property praying.  My female prayer partner and I come together once per week to meet and pray for the prayer requests. 

My favorite location to pray is up in our prayer room on the 3rd floor of The Training Center.  I have such a fabulous view of the mountains of the Cove, the changing sky above, the great birds that are soaring, and also a view out of the Cove to the world beyond with its buildings, mountains, valleys, and horizon. Every time I am there the scenery is different, varying with the seasons and weather patterns.

What kinds of requests do we get?  Here’s a sample: broken marriages, prodigal children, concerns for grandchildren, loss due to death or suicide, salvation for souls, future spouses for Christian children in this world, friends and family who are sick, those close who are dying, struggles in the local churches, court cases and battles, guidance for  life, the need of a job, a house that needs to sell, career changes, false accusations, mission outreach projects, fractured relationships between parents & children, pain in ministry, physical pain and suffering, medical tests and treatments, guidance with finances, help with addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.

There is also a place to share praises on the cards. So, even though we see the burdens that are on people’s hearts, we also often get a glimpse of the blessings God is pouring out. What a thrill to praise the Lord for His goodness, grace, love, compassion, sustaining power, faithfulness, protection, provision, guidance, comfort, and peace.   We even get some cards that are sharing answers to prayer, and we rejoice in those as well.  What a gift to see the hand of God working in the lives of those who come and share with us, as we partner with them in approaching our Father God with the desires of our hearts.

Interested in volunteering at The Cove?  Click here to download an application.

Reflecting the Heart of Jesus: A Conversation With Elizabeth George

On September 8, women will converge on the Cove’s campus to learn what it really means to reflect the heart of Jesus. Popular speaker and author Elizabeth George will talk about how women can do this through developing trust in God and knowing His Word. In the article below, she gives a preview of what it looks like in a daily life.

Do you have a hard time trusting God? Is it hard for you to stop in the midst of a busy day and pray? Almost everyone would answer “yes” to this question.

For women, this is particularly true.

“I think we’re hyper-responsible. We carry a heavy load of responsibility, whether we’re married or single, with our jobs, with our families, our in-laws, caring for failing parents, and extended family,” Elizabeth explained.

“We carry so much responsibility and want to do so well at it that we take it all on ourselves. We actually start to trust in our abilities to manage it and have a good schedule that works.  We feel worthy if all our ducks are in a row.  The problem with this is that we forget to pray. We forget to involve God.”

To help combat the problems of prayerlessness and worry, she will be leading a women’s seminar, “Reflecting the Heart of Jesus.” After all, to have a life of constant prayer and unwavering trust in God are two of the most profound qualities of Christ we can reflect.

“Jesus trusted His Father with everything and prepared for each day through prayer.  So, that’s the best way we can emulate Him. We can give Him our worries for the day, and worries about the people in our lives.  We can pray over the day, pray over our problems, and pray for God’s provision,” she said. “I want to talk to the ladies about getting into a habit of doing these things, because this will only grow a deeper connection with God and a greater trust and love for Him.”

Elizabeth George wants the message to the women during the weekend to resonate with them for the days, weeks, and even years to come. She explained that in order for them to continue praying and trusting, they must know and love God’s Word.

“I want them to know the importance of growing each day in God’s Word. His Word is new every morning. We may have read the Bible every year of our lives, but every day He has a new message for us; we can see things we didn’t see before.

“I also want them to go home knowing that every breath God allows us to inhale should be exhaled in prayer,” she continued.  “We need to be in constant communication, constant communion, thought by thought, step by step, sorrow by sorrow. The connection is always there through prayer. Ultimately trusting the Lord is a good thing. He’s working for our Good. And that is my bottom line.”

There is still time to join us! Register for the seminar here.
Worship leader, songwriter, artist, pianist, wife and mom, Shannon Wexelberg will be leading worship during this women’s retreat!

Free Webcast TONIGHT with Dr. Jack Hayford!

Tonight, you can tune in at 7:15pm ET for the first session of Dr. Jack Hayford’s seminar, A New Time In A New Placefor free!

You may not be able to attend the seminar in person, but this will give you a taste of the excellent Bible teaching that takes place at The Cove in Asheville, NC.

Watch and listen as Dr. Hayford teaches from the Book of Ruth, which illustrates for us God’s ways with people just like us. When facing a crossroad, you and I must decide whether to stay with the status quo or, like Ruth, follow God’s call to a new time and place. Come learn how to face the challenges of unpredictable need and painful difficulty, and experience God’s covenant faithfulness.

Viewers will also have the opportunity to participate in the LIVE Q&A session with Dr. Hayford.  Afterward, if you complete our short survey, you will be entered in a drawing for a CD or DVD set of the entire seminar you watched.

Click here to watch online!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 14:6-11

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 14:6-11 homework

FACTS: What does it say?

6: Caleb said, “You know what the LORD said to Moses”
7:  I was 40, when Moses sent me from Kades Barnea to explore the land. I brought back a report according to my convictions.
8: but my brothers who went with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear.  I followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
9: So Moses swore to me: “the land which your feet have walked will be your inheritance because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
10:  NOW Just as the LORD promised He has kept me alive so here I am today 85!
11:  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous now as I was then.

LESSONS: What does it mean?

6.    Do not forget the words of the LORD.
7.    STAND for the convictions of my heart and my God. It is so easy to stay quiet, afraid to “offend” others by the convictions of God’s Word.  Hey, its GOD’s Word, not mine.  They are God’s promises, not mine.  The question is do I believe GOD is who He says He is, or that He is a liar in my case.  God said the land was to be theirs.  Caleb believed it.  Simple, yet hard and complex in the face of reality!
8.   Consensus, even among godly leaders may not necessarily be what God has called them to.  When I know God has called me to something, what do I do?  There is ALWAYS a GAP when GOD calls…. there is that which I can do and that which GOD MUST DO… that GAP is called faith and obedience, and if were easy or if it always made sense and if the pieces always fell together from the onset, then where would God be needed in all that?  Am I quick to fall in with the crowd, the consensus? What has God called me to that He must accomplish in totality?
9.   Know that My God is faithful to complete and do that which He has promised to me.
10.  God’s promises are true.  When I act on God’s promises, and trust Him, walk the walk instead of focusing so much on talking the talk, I will find that I have a testimony, a personal testimony of God’s faithfulness to me!!!!  Often times we want this great amazing faith of Joshua, Caleb and Paul, yet we don’t want to have to obey and trust and struggle to get it…..  It is always worth it!!! If we could ask Joshua, Caleb and Paul, they would say, press in and press on!
11.  God gives me continued strength even when I should be weak.  When the world says you should be done…. maybe God is saying, “Hey, you are nowhere close!” 

APPLICATIONS, What does it mean to me? 

6.  Do I know what God’s Word says to me?  What has God said to me?  Have I forgotten the words God has spoken into my life over me?
7. Have I been quiet when God has asked me just to stand for what I believe in?  How have I been asked to stand for Him?  Did I stand tall or shrink back?  Am I so afraid of the reactions of others, even the reactions of other Christians, that I keep quiet on what God’s Word has charged me to do? Do I have any idea of what God’s Word has promised me?
8. Am I quick to fall in with the crowd, the consensus? What has God called me to that He must accomplish in totality?  Have I ever seen God miraculously fill in that GAP in my life and truly “Make all things work together for good?” What testimony of the GREATNESS of God am I missing out on in my life because I am afraid of that obedience?  AM I in God’s Word enough so that I know without a doubt what God has called me to?  AM I quick to walk away if people, even godly people do not support me?  Will I be like Caleb and “trust MY GOD wholeheartedly?”
9. DO I know what God has promised me?  Do I believe the promises of God?  DO I really believe that God will continue to be faithful to His Word, even when it involves me?  What do I really believe about who God is?
10. What is my testimony of God’s faithfulness?  When have I gone out on that limb and trusted that God would have to come through?  Am I pressing in and pressing on, hanging on by the skin of my teeth to who God says He is, or am I running the other way in fear?  Will I stick this out, to have the testimony in the end? Or am I done here and now?
11. What is it that You want to do through me, LORD?  Help my unbelief!


Get into God’s Word daily, know what God is saying, know what GOD is promising, know who God is, and then live my life like He is telling the Truth!!!! LIVE OUT God’s Word on a daily basis in my life, in my family, in my community, at my school, and yes, even in my church!!!  LORD, Help my unbelief!!!

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?
Please share this blog with them.

HOMEWORK: Joshua 14:12-15

The God With Scars

By James Emery White 

James Emery White, pastor in Charlotte, NC and author, will be teaching on Living as the People of God in Turbulent Times at The Cove on October 24-26, 2012.

 One of the first things that happens at a violent crime scene, after evidence has been collected, is the removal of any and all signs that violence has taken place. Broken glass is swept up, blood is wiped away, bodies are covered up and removed. Everyone wants to do everything possible to keep the memory of the event from lingering in their minds.


Not God.

In the Book of Revelation, John comes face to face with a scroll, sealed with seven seals, that no one is worthy to open.  Weeping that no one could open the scroll,  and that the very heart of the revelation would be kept from him, John is told that there is one who can open it—the Lion of the tribe of Judah. When John looks for the Lion, he instead sees a Lamb in the center of the throne. The Lamb is alive but bears all the marks of having been slain, suggesting that its death is somehow part of its power (Revelation 5).

Why is a previously slain lamb at the center of John’s heavenly vision? Why is a unique word used for lamb found 29 times in Revelation, but only once in the rest of the New Testament? (John 21:15). How can a lion of power be found in a lamb?

To understand all of this involves understanding the Passover. During the time when the Jewish people were enslaved by the Egyptians, God sent the deliverer Moses and unleashed 10 plagues before the stubborn hearts of the Egyptians would allow the release of the Jewish slaves. The tenth and decisive plague was the death of the fi rstborn of Egypt.

The sacrifice of an animal was a common way for people of that culture to make amends for their sins. It sounds strange to us today, but there was a very important idea behind it. They saw sin as something serious, deadly and gruesome, something that could cost them their life before a holy God. So it was only through some type of atoning, sacrificial death—something equally serious, deadly and gruesome—that the sin could be addressed.

God told the Israelites that if they would sacrifice an unblemished lamb—one without defect, perfect in every way—and then take the blood from the lamb and spread it on their doorposts, the angel of death that was being sent to deliver the tenth and final plague would pass over them, hence the term Passover.  The Israelites did as God said. The angel of death came, the firstborn of Egypt were killed, and the Israelites who had covered their homes with the blood of the lamb were saved. It had such an impact on the leaders of Egypt that they released the Israelites from slavery.

Jews have been celebrating the festival of Passover ever since as a reminder of God’s deliverance from death, and the freedom that came from that deliverance, through the blood of a lamb. The festival came to be marked each year with the slaughter of a lamb that would then be eaten, along with unleavened bread, in remembrance of the quick departure from captivity in Egypt that did not afford them time to add yeast. But even more important, the taste would remind them of the bitterness of the slavery that the blood had released them from.

Just before His death, Jesus gathered His disciples together to celebrate the Passover, but with a twist: “[Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This  cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:19-20).

Jesus gave the bread and wine new meaning. It would now represent Him as the unblemished Lamb that was sacrificed. Those marked by His blood would be freed from the slavery of their sin and would be passed over from the spiritual death that comes from sin. Through Jesus, “This was one death that was not to be airbrushed from the world’s consciousness. Instead, it was to stand at the center of human history, for we worship, as theologian Jurgen Moltmann once wrote, a crucified God.”  God was calling His people out of a deeper slavery than ever existed under the Egyptians—the very slavery of sin—into a new community in relationship with the living God.

This was one death that was not to be airbrushed from the world’s consciousness. Instead, it was to stand at the center of human history, for we worship, as theologian Jurgen Moltmann once wrote, a crucified God.

Any other God is false.

Even when facing a doubting Thomas, Jesus relied on one mark of authenticity: See my hands, see my feet, look at my side. I am the One that was crucified.

And that led Thomas to exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

It reminds me of the controversy surrounding the violence portrayed in Mel Gibson’s film on the passion of Jesus. There was a great deal of conversation about the brutality, the torture, the blood in the movie. “It’s so violent,” people said.

I wanted to say, “Yes, because it was.”

The film was rated R, and it deserved that rating—but I would argue that the R stood for Realistic.  I would have been more offended if the film had tried to water it down, sanitize it or make what Jesus went through something less than it really was.

Scars matter. When you pray to a Lamb that was slain, a crucified God, you pray to One who is able to understand your scars.

I once read of a little boy who went shopping for a puppy. He went into the pet store and asked how much the dogs were. The owner said that they sold for anywhere from $30 to $50. The little boy pulled out $2.37, all that he had.

“Here is all of my money. I don’t know how much it is, but it’s worth it.”

The store owner knew it wasn’t enough, but he let the little boy look at the puppies anyway. He looked at all of them, but at one in particular: the runt of the litter, which had a limp. The boy asked the owner what was wrong with that dog, and the owner said that he was born without a hip socket.

“That’s the puppy I want!”

“Son,” the owner said, “I can’t sell you that dog. He’s not worth it.  I’ll just give him to you for free.”

Tears filled the little boy’s eyes.  “Mister,” he said, “that dog is worth as much as any other animal in this store. You take my money.”

The owner did, and only as the boy walked out did he notice that the boy had an artificial leg.

Let us now and always worship the Lamb that was slain, the crucified God. But remember that you get to pray to Him, too. And when you do, you can trust that He understands whatever is making you limp.

This article is from the June 2012 Decision magazine.

James Emery White’s seminar titled Living as the People of God in Turbulent Times takes place at The Cove on October 24-25, 2012.  Call 1-800-950-2092 or click here for more information and to register.

Rare Piano Concert at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel

Join us on August 30th as Randall Atcheson performs a rare concert in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel here at The Cove!

Only 25 seats remain, so don’t delay!

Widely acclaimed pianist/organist, Randall Atcheson, is the epitome of a musical Renaissance man. His gift and versatility for musical styles was evidenced early in life when he was recognized as a prodigy on both piano and organ. In fact, he became the only student in the history of The Julliard School ever allowed to pursue, and receive, simultaneous degrees in piano and organ performance. Atcheson has performed many times at Carnegie Hall and has traveled the world over thrilling music lovers. He is listed on the distinguished international roster of Steinway Artists.  We hope you will come and enjoy this opportunity in the intimate setting of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel.

To register call 1-800-950-2092.  For more information click here.

NOTE: As part of these evening events, we also offer an optional overnight lodging stay, at applicable rates, complete with a complimentary breakfast.

For information on all the programs and events at The Cove, visit:

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 11:15-20

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where you can come and share your journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 11:15-20

The Facts
What Does it Say?

15.    The LORD commanded Moses, Moses commanded Joshua & Joshua did. He left NOTHING undone that the LORD commanded.
16-17.  Joshua took that land, captured their kings, struck them & put them to death.
18.   Joshua waged war a long time.
19.     There was not a city which made peace except Gibeon; they took them all in battle.
20. It was the LORD to harden their hearts & meet Israel in battle, that He might destroy them, they received no mercy just as the LORD commanded

The Lessons.
What Does it Mean?

15.     Be very careful to instruct what the LORD says (not what I think).  Be very careful to do ALL the LORD commands… not just what I think is pertinent. (How cool would it be, to have this said about you and me? That we left nothing undone that the LORD commanded?!) hmmmm so much to chew on here.
16-17.  Joshua lived a life of faithfulness, proven by obedience.  Faithfulness is gained      through obedience proven day in and day out… and cannot be measured until the end.
18.   Joshua battled day after day, week after week, year after year for the same thing.. until he was old and gray.  How many times must he have been tired of the battle set before him, yet again….(did he ever say … ug… here we go AGAIN?)  We all want instant gratification; however God does not work on our timetable, we work in His.  Victory is won as we press in and press on today…. and tomorrow… and the day after that….. don’t get frustrated when things don’t resolve immediately, stay faithful… hang on to the promises of God’s Word and character.  Don’t give up. It’s not the end result of the activity we yearn for, it is faithfulness to God in spite of results, that is what we strive for! Focus on being faithful.  Tough stuff my friends.
19.     The world is not intent on making peace with God as much as they are at making war with God…. (listen to the media on any given day.)  Everyone must make a choice to be for God or against Him. There is no gray area. But there is a choice.
20.    There is a time for everything, a time for grace and mercy, and a time for judgment and righteousness.  God’s character is proven on both sides of the matter.  God is glorified in Israel, and Gibeon, showing that He is full of grace and mercy, and God is holy and perfect, glorified in His right judgment and righteousness displayed to the other nations who were destroyed.  God’s character is proven no matter what.

What does it mean to me?

15.     Am I listening to LORD and what He wants, or am I trying to get the LORD to listen to me and accomplish what I want?  Where has the LORD called me today?  Will I live today in obedience to what I have been instructed?
16-17.  Is faithful obedience an objective in my life? Why or why not? Is it obvious to others?
18.    Do I give up if things don’t seem to be going my way or the way I think they should go? Will I continue to trust God to work all things out for my good and His glory, day in and day out?  Will I continue on in spite of being battle weary trusting God to “strengthen those who wait upon Him?” Isaiah 40:31
19.     What have I chosen? Have I chosen to make peace with God by trusting Jesus as my Savior? Or… Have I chosen to stay at odds with God?  Do I realize God has made a way to have peace with Him through Jesus?
20.   How will God be glorified in my life?  Will I accept His grace and mercy?  Will I opt for His judgment and wrath?

** God loves you.  God loves you so much, and wants to display His grace and mercy to you with His whole Being.  God proved this love by coming to earth in the form of a man, that man is Jesus.  Jesus lived a perfect life, not sinning (doing wrong) one time.  Jesus had to be perfect, not one sin is allowed in heaven. We must be as perfect as God to enter…. not “good enough” …. but PERFECT.  None of us are (Romans 3:10,23).  Jesus was perfect, so, being perfect, offered Himself as the perfect payment for us, where we fail.  Jesus died on the cross, shed His blood, so the wrath of God would be satisfied.  God took His wrath out on Himself on the cross, protecting us! Then 3 days later ROSE from the grave (I Corinthians 15:3-4)…. Jesus did this so He could show His mercy to us.  All we have to do is accept it. “For the wages of sin is death, BUT the GIFT of God (Jesus) is eternal life. Romans 6:23.  If you have never accepted this gift of forgiveness, take time now to ask it of God. Romans 10:9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” All we have to do is ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.  God holds true to His Word.  Accept His grace and mercy while it is offered.  “Now is the day of salvation.” II Corinthians 6:2. The choice is yours. How will you choose?  

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study? Please share this blog link with them.

HOMEWORK: Joshua 14:6-11

Is Prayer at Work In Your Life?

By Joy Allmond

Do you ever have trouble praying? Is it hard to know where to start, let alone pray at all? 
Stormie Omartian, Bible teacher and award-winning author of the Power of Praying series, will help people explore these questions and find answer at The Cove in September. Read here a little about her personal prayer journey and some prayer tips she has just for you.

Stormie Omartian was at the end of her rope.

As a young professional living in Hollywood and working in television, she was bound by fear, anxiety and depression that was rooted in her background as an abused child. No matter what she did, she couldn’t escape the pain.

That is, until one day, when she turned to prayer.

Someone led her to Jesus Christ, but, as for many of us, the pain didn’t instantly go away. Shortly after her conversion, she began to see a Christian counselor, who encouraged her to fast and pray over her past and the impact it would have over her present and her future. 

That season of prayer and fasting dramatically transformed her life. It is because of prayer that she found freedom from the effects of her past.

“When I found absolute deliverance and freedom from depression and anxiety, I felt a burden lift. It was such a great manifestation of the power of God—I’ll never forget it. Prayer changed my life forever,” she said.

Now, she is widely known for speaking and writing about the subject of prayer, having released a series of popular books, such as The Power of a Praying Life.

“That time in my life led to find out about what God wants to do in our lives through prayer—our communicating with Him.  I wanted others to understand the power of prayer, so my husband and I began to form prayer groups.”

Why Don’t We Pray More?

Many of us, although we have been walking with Christ for years, have difficulty even praying at all.

“So many of us won’t stop and pray because we don’t think we’re good enough to receive an answer. Or maybe you don’t know how to pray. Some of us are too intimidated to pray because we think we don’t have the right words—we can’t pray the same way as the pastor. We all have these doubts and fears when it comes to prayer,” she explained.

That’s why she writes the books and speaks at conferences—to help people get past their misconceptions about prayer and learn to effectively communicate with God.

Tips For Effective Communication With God

The first thing, Omartian says, is to express our gratitude for God’s faithfulness and work in our lives.

“Thank Him for everything. Praise and worship isn’t just something you do while you wait for the sermon on Sunday. It should be a way of life.

“Also, ask Him to show you if there is any sin that needs to be confessed, because unconfessed sin puts up barrier between you and God. Scripture tells us that God will not hear us if there is iniquity in our hearts,” she said.

Once we confess this, then we must ask for forgiveness, and ask Him to help us obey Him in the particular area in which we struggle.

Next, she said it’s best to keep our prayers simple.

“It doesn’t need to be complicated. Prayer can get overwhelming if you start incorporating man made rules. Just communicate your heart with God.”

She also reminds us that we should seek the will of God in our prayers—not our own.

“Ask God to lead and prompt you to pray for the things He wants in your life. Remember that He will help you pray this way if you ask Him. Be honest with Him in your prayers.”

Lastly, she says it’s very important to be in God’s Word every day.

“It helps you to pray, because it help you understand what God’s will is. You will hear the Holy Spirit more clearly if you are filling yourself with the Word of God. He will bring things alive to you as you read. And, we need to hear His voice clearly, because there are so many competing voices out there. We need to be able to isolate His voice.”

From September 4-6, she will be at The Cove, teaching others about the importance and effectiveness of prayer, and helping them transform their prayer lives.

When asked about what she wants to accomplish through her upcoming time at The Cove, she simply said, “I want people to leave praying.

“We can learn about prayer, talk about it, read about it. I want to inspire people to actually do it! I want people to understand how much God wants to accomplish through prayers, and I want it to be a dynamic in their hearts.

There is still time to make plans to join Stormie and see what God has in store for you at The Cove September 4-6! Learn more about her seminar and register by clicking here or calling 1-800-950-2092.

Aaron Shust Finds The Words To Speak

by Janet Chismar

Headlining An Evening at The Cove on Sunday, Aug. 12, Shust is no stranger to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Back in 2008, he led worship at the Will Graham Celebration in Burleson, Texas. He also spent time at The Cove in personal reflection while he was on staff at Perimeter Church in Atlanta.

But it was his encounter with Billy Graham in his home town that stands out in Shust’s mind. “Billy came and did a Crusade in Pittsburgh when I was a kid,” he recalls. “I got to sing in the choir, and sit in the third base section of the stadium learning the songs for those couple of weeks. His preaching has always been so simple and straightforward—and undeniably beautiful.”

Shust’s childhood was significant in two respects. He accepted Christ at the age of 4, and then started playing piano at the age of 7. As a teenager, he added guitar to his repertoire, influenced by the sounds of the sixties and Motown.

While attending Toccoa Falls College, he studied music theory and developed an aptitude for the likes of Bach and Mozart, as well as Bob Marley and U2. Shust honed his stage skills on campus and while performing in churches and coffeehouses.

All the hard work and preparation paid off. His song “My Savior, My God” took radio by storm, topping six different charts at once while on its way to becoming the most played song of 2006 on the Christian Adult Contemporary charts.

“My Savior, My God” earned Shust a trio of Dove Awards for “Song of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” and “New Artist of the Year.” Other hits followed, including “To God Alone” and “Give Me Words to Speak.”

Inspired by the Master Songwriter

So where does Shust get so many great song ideas? You guessed it—he is most inspired by the Master Songwriter himself. “If I want good, pure worship music to come out of me, I need to be filling myself with Truth. Listening to other worship songs helps stylistically with the music. I think, ‘Do I want to head this direction?’ But if I listen to a steady diet of Phil Collins, I am going to sound like Phil Collins.”

More importantly and obviously, says Shust, “I need to fill myself with the Word of God, which is absolute truth; it’s inerrant. As Chris Tomlin has said, there are songs throughout the Bible. They are in the Psalms obviously, but there are so many songs of praise hidden throughout Scripture, especially in the Old Testament. You’re reading along and all of a sudden, King Nebuchadnezzar breaks into song at one point.”

Looking back into the Word of God offers glimpses of incredible worship songs that already exist. “Sometimes,” Shust adds, “I try to use them verbatim; they are just so perfect the way they are. But then other times, I try to word a song to give a fresh perspective on Truth.”

Since those early days in Pittsburgh and then Georgia, Shust has grown professionally and personally. Even now, God is showing him fresh insights, especially in his role as a father to two little boys. “I know God loves me, but I still have my doubts about this when I act unbecomingly. Becoming a dad has changed my perspective. Nothing my kids do will make me love them less. If I can say this as a wicked father, how much more does a heavenly Father love me? Nothing I can do will change that.”

God also teaches Shust valuable lessons through his work. While writing for his last album, Take Over, for example, Shust gained fresh insights into submission. “It was a theme that was my heart during the writing season. I actually didn’t realize it until writing was over. I looked over the lyrics while trying to come up with a title. I realized this album was all about submission. It’s all about Romans 12:1-2 – offering our bodies as living sacrifices—it’s about surrender. I think that the theme of dying to self is important to all of us as believers everyday.”

A Night of Worship

What can The Cove audience expect on Aug. 12? Shust feels it is his job is to play audience favorites. “When I go do a concert, I can’t just cover my favorite worship songs and the hymns that I enjoy; the ones I believe take you into worship. What God put it my heart to do is to lead people in worship, not just sing a bunch of songs and entertain them, but to allow them to engage.

“So I am challenged to write songs that allow the audience to engage in worship, and then stick with those songs during concert time and make it easy for the congregation, the audience to engage. We put lyrics up on the screen. I fashion it like I fashion a worship set at church.”


Don’t miss an Evening at The Cove with Aaron Shust: register online or call 800-950-2092.

Aaron Shust, Natalie Grant and FFH at The Cove!

Looking for a delightful evening out that will refresh your mind, body and soul?

Look no further!

Join us for An Evening at The Cove in Asheville, NC and experience a worshipful concert and engaging fellowship as renowned artists celebrate God’s goodness, truth, and beauty in song.  Enjoy friendly conversation over a delicious dinner while looking at the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, followed by an inspiring music program.

An Evening at The Cove with Aaron Shust — August 12
For more information click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

An Evening at The Cove with Natalie Grant — September 8
For more information click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

An Evening at The Cove with FFH — September 27
For more information click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Later in the year…

An Evening at The Cove with:

Marty Goetz — October 20
Fernando Ortega — 
November 8
Christmas at The Cove w/ various artists — December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15

For information on all 2012 Evening at The Cove & Christmas at The Cove events, click here or call 1-800-950-2092.
Space fills up quickly, so reserve your spot today!

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove