Posted by Gary on January 28, 2010
While reading a sermon entitled, “Be Zealous” by J.C. Ryle I came across this quote from Robert Murray M’Cheyne concerning his heart and his ministry. I do believe it to be the true confession of any real minister of God:
“None but God knows what an abyss of corruption is in my heart. It is perfectly amazing that ever God could bless such a ministry.”
May God grant to all of His servants the same self-honesty and humility.
God grant us to see the truth about ourselves that we might then by grace see that Jesus is our righteousness. Grant that your servants would be empty of pride and full of the realization of grace received. O Lord, we have been full ourselves, make us full of Yourself. Amen.
Posted by Gary on May 28, 2007
For some time I have intended to write a series of posts on how to pray for your pastor. I fear I do not understand as I should the need I have for my people to pray for me but it seems that with each further year in ministry I see more clearly my need for my people to pray for me. You may remember the account from Israel’s history of their battle with Amalek, it is only as Moses’ hands are held up that Israel advances and finally prevails:
Exodus 17:8-13 “Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”
In the same way, I believe that as a pastor’s congregation prays for him, he in God’s strength prevails and that if their hands droop as it were and they fail to hold him up, he is weakened and is beaten back by the enemy. A congregation cannot do the praying that the pastor must do himself but they can and must pray for him. I would argue that in a certain sense the pastor’s ability to pray as he should is contingent on the prayer being offered for him.
Having been a pastor for a number of years has caused me to forget how people view pastors. I am left with the impression often that people think pastors are etched out of marble and above the difficulties, especially the spiritual difficulties that the average church member faces; nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, God has placed a call upon His pastors and they for their duties are granted certain gifts and strengths but these must be maintained and strengthened or they will be lost. Do you think that your pastor always wants to read the Bible and pray? Do you think the temptations that batter and entice you do not do the same to him? Do you think he doesn’t have struggles in his home or get discouraged in his work? If you do not know these things your head is in the sand. Your pastor faces everything you face and this is why you often feel that he is speaking directly to you about your situation because more than you know your situation is his situation.
If you have a Godly, faithful pastor thank God for him. If you understand his duties and love him you will pray for him, he needs it.