Executive Chaplain’s Corner

Open hearts, open doors, prayer is the key

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (New International Version 1984, Colossians 4:2-4).

We see God at work all around us and we know that His sovereign hand is powerful and effective.  Even though God is beyond us and is the Great Other, He has designed each of us to play a role in His purpose.

Our open hearts lead to open doors of opportunity, volunteer service, financial support and transformed lives.  One of the greatest expressions of our open hearts is specific, thankful and intercessory prayer for our work.

Join with me in accepting the Apostle Paul’s challenge in Colossians 4 to devote ourselves to prayer.  It seems that the more prayers God answers the more we need to pray.  We need to pray with thanksgiving.  We need to pray with humility.  We need to pray for the next step.

God has answered many prayers for our ministry and because of that I challenge you to pray even more over the next few months as key decisions are made about expanding our reach.

On the dashboard of your car there are several instruments that give you information that is key to driving safely and effectively.  In newer cars your dashboard will tell you how fast you are driving, the instant or average gas mileage you are achieving, the amount of gas left, the direction you are traveling, the temperature of your engine and even the air pressure in your tires.  These are all key facts to know if you want to arrive safely at your intended destination.

Dashboard has become a designation used by computer software developers to show you at a glance an overview of your program.  Your financial institution uses a dashboard page on your online account to show you all the key figures of your assets.

In one quick look you can see how much money you have along with deposits, withdrawals and transfers.  You can quickly decide if you want to see the last 10, 30 or 60 days of activity and drill down to find out the detailed information of your account.

There is a spiritual ministry dashboard that I keep in front of me to help me know if OJPM is headed in the right direction and how fruitful we are.  These measurables make a great list for you to pray about:

  • The number of facilities we minister at
  • The number of trained volunteers involved in our ministry
  • The number of inmates counseled with each month
  • The number of spiritual decisions recorded each month
  • The balance of our bank account each month

You can pray with confidence because of the authority of Jesus Christ.  You can pray with focus by using the above list of measurables.  Your open heart to the Lord in prayer will lead to open doors of opportunity and fruitfulness as inmates in turn open their hearts to the Lord.

Unleashing the captives,

Tim Gentry
Executive Chaplain

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