Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer.
Paul encouraged the Christians at Colossae to continue in the one thing that truly matters. Prayer is the great privilege of the Christian and the great essential of the minister.
1. Pray for those You Lead
Nearly 1,000 people now call me pastor. We average 800 worshipers every Sunday. I simply can’t live up to my own lofty expectations of the perfect pastor. But I can pray for my people. When I can’t be present, I can point them to the one who will never leave or forsake. When I can’t work a miracle, I can pray to the one who is known for His miracles. When I don’t know what to do, I can ask the wisdom giver and be certain that He will guide me into all necessary truth.
At SHBC our church people fill out a connection card every week to help me in my prayer responsibilities. After filling out the card they simply write a prayer request on the back of the card for me to add to my weekly prayer time. This allows me to pray for so many needs of which I would otherwise be unaware.
2. Never Be Too Busy To Pray
As the church grew my schedule stretched. Get up earlier. Go to bed later. Take a late night meeting. Take an early morning counseling session. I found myself cutting back on things like family, Bible study, and prayer. Well, I quickly learned that this was a recipe for disaster. Therefore, with the addition of godly staff and faithful volunteers I have carved out major chunks of time specifically dedicated to prayer (Acts 6). I pray for myself, my family, ministry friends, and hundreds of prayer requests turned in every Sunday from our church members.
3. Teach Others to Pray for You
This one takes humility. That’s likely why I have not done very well in this area. I’m often filled to the brim with pride and egotism. I mean, come on, I’m supposed to be the pastor, the shepherd, and the man of God! I pray for people not the other way around. Yet I was reminded recently how often the Apostle Paul asked others to pray for him (II Cor. 11:23-28, I Thess. 5:25, II Thess. 3:1, Rom. 15:30, Eph. 6:19, Col. 4:3). I suppose if Paul needed prayer then I needed it even more!
For those who regularly read this blog, I ask you to pray for me. For those who are faithful members of Southern Hills, please continue to pray for me. For those who are new to this wonderful Christian community, would you please pray for me?
Prayer: the longer I pastor the more I need it!
Do you have something in your life for which I can pray? What have you learned about prayer recently?