Kids. It amazes me sometimes, what they understand...what they catch up on. What they "get". And other times, I'm thinking..."Come on. Really?" The latter phrase, words my Dad has uttered about something I've done during my time as an adult. Sometimes we all "miss" the mark.
At any rate....childhood can be rough enough. Particular professions held by Mom or Dad can make it all the more challenging, for any number of reasons.
So as you pray for your pastor(s) and those in your community, pray for the kids.
Pray that they would know and understand God at an early age.
Pray that they would understand the power of prayer and would learn to exhibit great faith.
Pray that, even as kids, there would be an anointing on their lives and that they would be a blessing to their parents and the ministry
And pray for those, who upon seeing and living through the ministry, may have abandoned the things of God and gone their own way. God still has a plan for their lives as well and pray that God would be made real to them in new and relevant ways.
Structures do not stand strong without support. Neither do churches and pastors stand to provide a "covering" if you will, over the congregation and the community unless they are lifted up...supported. Where beams and trusses and cross-members fail, so does the structure.
Likewise, if the supporting cast; those who play a part in the functioning of the church, begin to break, the church is in trouble.
Pray today for those in support positions, that they would be strengthened and encourage in their positions.
Pray that they would perform their responsibilities with excellence.
Pray that they would bring wisdom and insight in the advice and counsel they provide regarding matters within the church.
Pray that they would be people who would be unhindered in being able to effectively support the leadership and vision of their church, so that the church would continue to stand strong.
As much as we all hate to admit from time to time, it can really be a struggle to make it through the day when you are non happy with where you are. It may or may not be a matter of content, as though you do not appreciate what you have or who are with; but at the same time, it's a struggle to match up your gratitude for what is "right" in your life with the circumstances you are frustrated over.
And if it's hard for me, on yet another Monday morning after a weekend of 1 or 2 new matters on my mind, then what about those 1500 or so pastors than are still on the fence about whether they enter next month still in ministry?
Pray for pastors and church leaders who are dissatisfied with certain aspects of their life, both personally and ministerially.
Pray that insight and wisdom would be granted to them.
Pray that strength would arise and that they would be encouraged to grow where they have been placed and planted.
Pray a spirit of refreshing, that God is moving on their behalf, even if, behind the scenes, doing His greatest work.
Be the ONE who encourages your pastor today to not throw in the towel, despite how they feel about the matters they face
Our Pastor delivered an incredibly powerful sermon, this Pastor Sunday on being "all-in" and pursuing God whole-heartedly. I'll post more in it later, but the other day, I was listening to talk-show host, who started to make a point, stopped himself, then decided against it, b/c he said, "It would be the truth, and he would "get in trouble"...meaning lots of people would call in upset. Likewise, Pastor dared to say what may have made some uncomfortable, but nobody benefits long terms from anything less than the truth.
So on this Friday...
Pray simply, that Pastors would speak and deliver the truth. On Sunday. During the week. To all people. Of all ages.
Pray as our stated, that Pastors would be "jealous for your life" wanting all that God has for you in 2013!!!
We all need them. We all wish we had them. Sometimes we wish we had better friends. Often we wish we were better friends. Rarely do people have more than one or two "best" friends.
So what makes friends? The ability to connect. The feeling that you are in a position to connect. The scenario that prompts you to actually have something to connect.
These elements or potential lack of any of not all of them, is, at least in part, what makes it difficult for people to reach out between pastors and lay-person.
But it must be down. Don't leave church leadership out in the cold by not making connections and friendships with them because you think they are in a different world, spiritually or otherwise, from the one you operate in.
Pray today for pastors, that the friendships they have would be strong and that they would be strengthened.
Pray for friendships that are in not "good shape", that restoration and healing would transpire where needed or that doors would open for new friendships to be made
Pray, especially for spouses of pastors, that genuine connections and friendships would develop...that the families would not get lost in the advancement of the ministry.
Be a friend to your pastor. Start today!
...You were born for such a time as this.
I listened to a sermon on Esther this morning (which I rarely get to listen to podcasts like I wish I could) and wow, did God have a timely word that I needed today.
Pastor Brad Leach, of CityLife Church in Philadelphia, preaches this powerful message and did it ever hit home, for the events of this day.
Esther's story is incredible. And as Pastor Brad shares, "It just so happens...." that God's plan for Esther's life and God's plan unfolds. "God accomplishes His plan on the pages of human history."
And as we are encouraged, perhaps you were born for such as time as this.
And earlier today, I sat next to a man, reading in interesting book. Asking about the book led to more questions and the next thing I know, I'm sitting next to him, and the conversation easily lasted over 30 minutes.
To a pastor of 39 years. Which led to the start of a conversation about pastoral burnout. The conversation has just started and we exchanged information and I can't wait to continue our talk...hopefully with the intent to further the mission and vision of Bring Me 70. But it happens, because of the Sovereignty of God. The plan carried out through the circumstances of man.
So while this pray is later in the day...pray for churches and pastors, frustrated in feeling that the plan for them is seemingly unclear.
Pray that they would find their place and fulfill their mission, both for their personal life and that of their ministry.
Pray that God would grant pastors and leaders strategies in carrying out the plan God has for them
Pray that they would be encouraged that God has not forgotten them. He is simply working behind the scenes. The results are visible. The efforts are not. The scenes look incredible because of the One who worked behind them.
It's hard to be effective in almost any arena, if you are not feeling up to the task, physically. If it's true for anyone on their way to work or playing with kids, attending an event or enjoying a birthday party, then it certainly must be true for those in ministry.
Pray that pastors and leaders would be strengthened in their physical body.
Pray that sickness would not come against them and hinder the good work God has called them to.
Pray for energy, motivation and creativity to come forth as they work towards being in the best of healthy and physically fit for the glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom.
I think this pic says it all. Be encouraged. Don't let life turn you upside; put you on your back and make you feel as though you wish your head would fall off. Whatever it is, whether it costs $20 or something with a few more zeros attached...God is in control. It may be minor; it may be major; it may seem the latter, but in the long run; it will be the former...don't lose heart.
Pray for pastors and leaders that have simply "had it".
Pray for those recognizing that they are at "a point" that requires God to move or direct in their lives or ministry.
Encourage your pastor..that God has their back and you are standing at their side. The blessing invested in them will pay dividends in return.
My sincerest apologies for not having posted a daily prayer the past 2 mornings. I could say something as to the reason why, but there really is nothing to offer as legitimate. I think we all go through this from time to time, so people more often than others...I know I have felt, on a number of occasions that I was the worst offender for not getting something down...and lacking a reasonable and sustainable "why".
Suffice to say...we all of issues. Christians. Non-Christians. Followers of other religions. Followers of "their own path". Followers of no path. Within the church. Outside the church. Those leading the church. Not a one is exempt.
As Paul write in Romans..."all have fallen short of the glory of God." Some of us just fall short more often and to a greater degree than others.
So...as we each work through our issues today, whilst wishing other people would worker harder on their own, keep Pastors and church leaders in prayer. Personally struggling to become better people while being in a position where you can't neglect helping others become better people is a difficult place. I know. I opened this post with an apology. And I'll feel bad, if it happens again, which I'm going to work hard at avoiding it...but again; the "falling short" is a past, present and future tense statement.
It all matters, but pray Pastors will work through what matters most. That their priorities will be set on things above. That their decisions and efforts will count.
Pray that grace would surround their ministry and that their would be an understanding among the people, Pastors are human too.
Pray that they would be strengthened and encouraged, that as God molds and conforms them into the image of Christ, that their ministry would grow, both in numbers of people and depth of spiritual maturity.
Pray that they would not be held back by their struggles. That as they move forward in Christ, breakthrough would occur and they would come out better and more effective for the work prepared for them in advance.
I've often wondered, especially when watching law-enforcement shows, how kids get into trouble with the law. It seems strange. That kind of influence in the home and the child still moves in the "wrong direction".
Similarly with Preacher's kids. To know God. To know the ways of God. *which are two totally different concepts.
It's not that we don't want our kids to not return to Christ. It's that the homes of our Pastors should be such that they don't move away from God in the first place.
Pray for the families of those whose children are struggling or have walked away from God.
Pray protection for children of all ages, that they would see and understand genuine faith in God and a consistency in the ministry of their parents.
Pray, that no matter what profession they may pursue, that there would be a passion for the things of God and that if a child does follow in the footsteps of the parents into ministry, that it would be God's calling and not pressure of any kind to be as Mom & Dad were.
When the prodigal comes home, it's incredible. When the prodigal never leaves in the first place, it's success.
Roughly half way through the month, and it's happening already. Bills are coming in and ready to be paid. Not a fun process, personally, let alone corporately. Worse for a church in trouble...or at least cutting it to close for comfort, not to mention ministry.
Indeed God provides and has His ways of doing the miraculous in ministry. However, bills and vendors and event can't be paid in prayers for those companies.
So in this Friday, as most people receive their paychecks, pray for pastors and churches struggling financially.
Pray that God would miraculously provide for the needs of the church.
Pray for strength as churches find ways to pay bills and make payroll.
Pray for increase, not only in attendance, but also in giving
Pray that pastors would be renewed, that were God leads, God provides.
As the New Year is settling in and we are past the excitement of the first week, it's easy to settle into old habits and routines.
Likewise, it can be challenging to look at circumstance in a new and different perspective. But it must be done. For obvious reasons.
Pray today, that pastors would continue in their great work, to receive fresh insight and revelation.
As they study and prepare, that new insight and illumination would occur, that would strengthen and encourage and build them, as they look to do the same, in the most Holy faith.
Real. Relevant. Fresh. As much as we can't rely on yesterdays faith and prayers, neither can pastors live on yesterdays anointing.
It's amazing how we pray and believe for miracles and then, part way through the process we forget to check and see how we are actually doing. I took a few moments to do this earlier tonight regarding a matter and could not believe my eyes.
Wow...God was making it come together, day by day, little by little. Now the miraculous still needs to happen; still believing, still standing, still pressing on in faith. But there is clearly a solid base being established in which God is working and building, upon which, when it all adds up will stand as in incredible testament and testimony to His faithfulness, goodness, provision and healing.
Keep the faith. Keep your eyes on Him who rewards those who diligently...consistently, faithfully seek His face. Whatever the need is, occasionally check the progress being made. If you are surprised and amazed, then strength and faith has been increased to the next level...one in which you are closer to God and what He desires to accomplish in your life.
On this note...pray that pastors would be encouraged for that which weighs on their hearts and minds.
Pray they would be challenged to take a few moments and look at the pieces of the puzzle that God has already begun to move around the board and orchestrate in putting certain elements together
Pray for a strengthening and quickening that they would press on and move forward; unhindered by discouragement.
Pray that their vision and focus would continue to remain on God and the work prepared in advance for them; and less on what is working against them.
God is Creator. There is no single "great" work or piece and He's done. Constantly creating; each miracle, is, in its' own right and on its' own merit is Gods' Best One Ever. For His glory. For our amazement.
At our Men's Ministry meeting last night, a gentleman shared about a loss he experienced in his life. Tragically, another man experienced a similar loss less than 2 weeks prior. In the man's frustration of the circumstance, he shared how God brought him to realize that his loss was how God was going to use him to related to the other man.
We know God has plans for our lives and purposes for the circumstances we face, but we struggle to get past the "us" and the "why" and "how" aspects of our understanding and simply say, God...what would you desire to happen that you would receive the glory in this matter.
Yes, it's a hard proposition, but God fully understands the concept of being able to relate and be relevant in our lives. It's why His plan included the loss and sacrifice of His own son.
Whatever the circumstances look like, pray that God would receive all the glory in them.
Pray that the miraculous would be accomplished in the lives of those outside the circumstances as people and pastors believe for the miraculous within the circumstances.
Pray that pastors would continue to have an understanding and place a priority on being "real" with the church and community. To be able to be to related and be relevant to a lost and dying world. For the glory of God.
I meant to post this before leaving the house this morning, so that you could spend the day in prayer regarding this concept, and, there just wasn't time.
Interestingly enough, such a scenario can be a symptom of this concept, of feeling "drained".
So often, when life closes in and curtain circumstances are already taking a toll, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially, "one more thing to think about" is simply too much. Such is the sentiment of what has transpired in my family the past few weeks and the new information we received today and what's in store in the weeks and months to follow. So perhaps, God planned that this would get written late in the day.
If individuals have a hard time handling and processing life when it gets complicated, it gets exponential more frustrating for those in leadership positions, such as a manager or business owner concerned for their employees. Even more so for church leadership, concerned with the spiritual impact of such circumstances and the toll they take on their congregation and community.
It's hard enough figuring out what to do for my own family and the decisions we face; how to sort through and process the information, keep the faith and move forward. I can' fathom going through it, while having to be concerned with helping hundreds or thousand of people within the church correctly navigate through life's challenges as well.
Pray for the strengthening and quickening of church pastors and leaders, that they would not feel overwhelmed in caring for their congregation
Pray that they would be able to correctly balance their home life and being able to handle family matters, while properly directing church affairs
Pray that associate pastors and support staff w/in the church and ministry coordinators would continue to work with and not against the vision of their local church, to help carryout the ministry in an effective manner
Finally, pray for protection over the marriages and families of your pastor, they God would grant them favor and grace on a personal level, so that they could take those experiences as a way to encourage and uplift the community to continue in the faith.
As Paul said; Follow me as I follow Christ. Pray that pastors would not be hindered in their following of the Lord whereby negatively impacting the hundreds and thousands who live under their leadership.
Most pastors feel they do not have what they need to do the job before them. Scary, when you are already on the job.
As they enter the 1st Sunday of the year, pray for a quickening spirit of preparedness.
That they have what the need to confidently lead the church. To boldly preach the Word. Pray that a refreshing would fall upon them, that God is with them and going before them to prepare the way in whatever area they feel lack.
It occurred to me the other day, the possibility that a correlation exists or may exist between the health of the church and the families therein and the strength of the pastor and his/her family.
At the very least, I would imagine some sort of disconnect relationally, as a Pastor prays and encourages and helps those in the congregation, but can't or doesn't experience a similar breakthrough in their personal lives. The gap or disconnect probably grows, the more frustrating the circumstances become at home.
Perhaps it's just me, but I know I would have difficulty managing.
So today, pray for the home-front of your pastors.
Pray for a strengthening in the lives of their families. In their marriages. In their children. Financial. Emotional.
Healthy pastors build healthy congregations. Healthy congregations build healthy communities.
There's a wonderful exchange in the movie Fireproof, between the man of prayer, Mr. Bridges and a discouraged Coach Taylor. In just the right time, Coach is encouraged to not give up...God is not through working and using Coach in the place He has been planted.
Mr. Bridges shared how 2 farmers prayer for rain, but only 1 prepared the fields to receive.
Just because you are unsure of it's worth it, doesn't mean you should stop working at it.
This is especially true in the spirit realm. Be encouraged. God is aware of what is going on in His fields.
Pray that pastors would be encouraged as they return to church offices today.
Pray that they would receive a "second wind" of refreshing, as they continue to work and prepare the place God has positioned them
Pray that they would not grow weary in well-doing.
Pray that pastors would encounter their own, "Mr. Bridges" moment of encourage, at just the right time. Better yet...be a Mr. Bridges to your pastor today!
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.