What if you don’t do it?
Max Lucado states, "Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference”. So, what do we lose when we choose not to involve the One who makes the eternal difference? The challenge of “guarding this man” (1 Kings 20:39) comes through steadfast prayer . Acts 2:42 calls for a supplicating church devoted to prayer. I have seen prayer shape new destinies, break barriers, and set people free!
Free Camp is an evangelistic tool that was born in 1990 out of Amarillo, TX. This camp has expanded out to the east coast (the Carolinas and Virginia), Oklahoma, Arizona and international locations like (the Philippines, Africa, and Mexico). The practical bait of the camp is the fact that it’s financially free, yet the spiritual dynamic is not far from its name. The word “Free” remains a declaration over all attendees to be free from their bondage and follow Jesus wholeheartedly into their new destiny. The new trajectory for a destiny surfaces when someone is willing to start that relational dialogue with the Father and remain steadfast in their commitment.
I was a rising sophomore at Emmanuel College and a third-year returnee to Amarillo's Free Camp. Our team recognized this was likely our last trip to Amarillo from North Carolina. Local churches wanted to see National, and maybe International Free Camps come forward. My youth pastor, Cutty Peacock, challenged our team to spend some time with the Lord leading up to the last morning service in the summer of 2007. I found my 2006 journal entries and began to read a few of the daily logs. I found one that was a prayer (prophetic in nature) that stirred my young spirit.
The next morning, we were at a service when a neighboring biker gang showed up in an already diverse, socioeconomic population. Our team had opportunities to share in front of the congregants. The Holy Spirit was tugging on me in a unique and overwhelming manner. The Holy Spirit was showing me personal breakthroughs and leading me to read that journal entry. So, I walked up to the podium and began to tearfully and boldly read that prayer. I watched as the Holy Spirit ministered to people all over the sanctuary, including that biker gang.
President Ronald Reagan said, “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” Free Camp sets atmospheres where self-inflicted or externally-influenced barriers come down. One of the high-ranking officials of the biker gang was perplexed at God's move. One of the ladies from the gang was loved on by Jesus in such a compelling manner, that she tracked down the prayerful teenagers and expressed her gratitude for the support.
Tool vs. Tradition
I’m amazed that we just celebrated our 30th Free Camp in Amarillo, TX. I recognize that the discipline and commitment of prayer warriors through three decades, allow this camp to be a powerful tool instead of a complacent tradition. Administratively, we have organized Free Camp under the care of six color group leaders who are leaders over leaders. These six carry a good bit of the camp weight with them, which presents different challenges than some of our staff. The steadfast practice of collaborative prayer keeps our leaders focused, encouraged, and passionate about the “why” we do what we do.
Within one of the color groups was a young boy, who we will call “John,” who made his way into the camp for his first year. On Saturday night, I was closing up a late meeting and recognized that I would be up until 3 in the morning due to closing sermon prep. I was tired and encountered a couple of boys in the hall; one of them was John. I was not in the most patient of moods and a little stern with the boys to go to bed. One of the boys went to sleep, but John wasn’t quite ready to sleep. When we look through the filter of impatience, we often miss the opportunity for God as healer. The Lord softened my heart as the young boy shared his pain and mistreatments in his life. Then, we prayed. The next morning John accepted Jesus and was baptized.
But what if you don’t do it?
“If we are praying for the presence and power of God to come into our nation, warfare will certainly come. And this will require steadfast, persevering prayer on our part.” I’m thankful for the prayer warriors that remain steadfast in prayer. Daniel, an Old Testament prophet, was in steadfast prayer for three straight weeks before he saw his breakthrough. "At that time, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips, and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over" (Daniel 10:2-3). This priceless discipline keeps Free Camp a tool rather than a tradition. This faith-filled dialogue helps the "Johns" of this world to experience freedom. Additionally, prayer is powerful enough to break down all barriers, no matter the challenge. May this reader be stirred in their desire to communicate and listen to the Father without ceasing. Just do it. Guard this man through steadfast prayer.
 https://prayer-coach.com/2009/10/23/prayer-quote-max-lucado/. Accessed 8 July 2019
 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2016.
 https://www.reaganfoundation.org/ronald-reagan/reagan-quotes-speeches/state-of-the-union-3/. Accessed 8 July 2019
 https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/how-to-be-steadfast-as-god-s-prayer-warrior.html. Accessed 9 July 2019
 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+10&version=NIV. Accessed 9 July 2019
About the Author: Jake Bunn and his wife, Chelsea, make their home in Amarillo, TX, with their two sons, Wyatt and Jase. In addition to being a husband and father, Jake serves in several capacities, including Kids’ Pastor at Christian Heritage Church in Amarillo, TX, Discipleship Ministries Director for the Great Plains Conference, International Free Camp Director, and as one of two millennial members on the General Men’s Ministries Board.
About Free Camp: Free Camp began 30 years ago in Amarillo, TX and has spread around the U.S. and into Mexico and the Philippines. The goal of Free Camp is to break down racial, social, and economic barriers through a totally free camp experience. We focus on team building activities, worship, and showing kids the life-changing love of Christ. Men’s Ministries, Boys’ Ministries, and DRUSA’s Oklahoma Emergency Response Team converged in Amarillo this past July to provide 1000 hot meals each day for the campers and volunteers.