church, Fasting, Prayer, Uncategorized

Day 15: “Pray for Pastors”

My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be so eager to become a teacher in the church since you know that we who teach are held to a higher standard of judgment.

James 3:1 (TPT)

People get into professions of public service because they care about others. They feel they can be difference-makers. Oftentimes, they forego financial gain for the sake of a passion. Their hours aren’t 9-5 and the burden they carry goes beyond the tangible work product they produce each week. Pastors, in particular, walk alongside people in crisis, motivate and inspire others all while endeavouring to seek God’s face each and every day for vision and direction.

The pressure your pastor faces to be the Christian example everyone expects can be overwhelming at times. With their own personal problems and insecurities along with providing for their families, the responsibility causes some pastors to fall into depression, unhealthy addictions or, at times, to quit all together.

Pastors’ kids often feel jaded and disenchanted with the church as they see the stress at home. Many pastors feel ill-equipped to lead all aspects of smaller churches and some even abandon their “calling” when it all becomes too much.

The reality is, pastors are people. They love God and the church and feel called to give their lives for the service of other people. They aren’t perfect. They have to learn to manage themselves and work out healthy boundaries for the sake of their marriages and families just like anyone else.

You can make a difference by praying for your pastor. Tell him or her you see how much gets done for your church and that you appreciate it. You will never know the detail of what he carries or how heavy the weight can be. Hopefully she is learning to cast those troubles at the foot of the cross.

After all, that’s what gets preached to you, hey?

*Today, pray Ephesians 6:19 over your pastor: “That whenever ________ speaks, words may be given to ________ so that ________ will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” As you pray and fast for issues in your own life, also pray for your pastor’s burdens today. Pray for your his finances and children. Ask God to remind her of the joy pastoring brings and that God would supernaturally provide everything the church needs in both finance and people.

Fasting, Inspiration, Series, Uncategorized

Fasting Devotion, Day Ten

(Submitted by Paul O’Rourke)

Ephesians 4:1-6

Paul exhorts us to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received.” The Message version encourages us to RUN on the path God has called us. He says, “I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.”

So how do we live a life worth of this calling?

Paul tells us in Ephesians, “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” In yesterday’s post, we talked about healthy relationships. Looking beyond our own personal influence and happiness, think of the corporate influence we have when we live at peace with one another.

Imagine a church, family, marriage, workplace where the individuals are completely humble and gentle, patient and loving. Where each one makes every effort, and takes personal responsibility to maintain unity through the bond of peace? A life worthy of the calling!

Everyone generously donating their gifts for the benefit of others.

Speaking the truth in love.

Renewing our minds.

Not allowing disagreements to go unresolved.

Working hard.

Ridding ourselves of all bitterness, malice and slander.

Being kind and compassionate.

Speaking words that benefit those who listen.

Everything we do either contributes to unity or takes from it.

Heavenly Father, I want nothing more than to live a life worthy of the calling you have for me. Thank you for giving me clear guidelines for how to live in unity with others to create peace all around me. Help me to be kind, compassionate, uplifting, hard-working, generous and loving to those you have placed in my sphere of influence. I pray your name will be glorified as I continue to seek you in everything I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.