In this blog series, I am sharing twelve specific ways we as pastors must persistently pray for our lives and ministries. These are twelve key areas in which not only we as individuals need to be praying, but also our church members. Let's consider #7 - #9 today...
7. Pray we will walk worthy of the calling God has placed on our lives.
Each of us must be regularly reminded of Paul’s words in Colossians 1:
“We haven’t stopped praying for you . . . so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:9-10)
The Lord has called us to this work. The Lord has chosen us for this work. And so humbly we ask, “Oh God, help us to walk worthy of this calling in the power of your Spirit.”
8. Pray we will preach the Word and the Gospel boldly.
The Gospel offends. It just does. If we’re going to be preachers of the Word, we must be ready to offend with the Gospel. Yet, it’s that very Gospel that also takes dead people and makes them alive. It’s the same Gospel that saved you and saved me by God’s grace.
“Lord give us boldness in the pulpit. In the face of challenges in our culture and in the face of challenges in this church, help me to be bold. Help me to be clear in my preaching of your Word… because your Word is what changes people’s hearts.” May we echo the words of Paul who wrote from a prison cell in Ephesians 6:
“Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19)
9. Pray for God to destroy idols in our hearts and in the hearts of our people.
John Calvin said: “Our hearts are idol-making factories.” It’s true. We are so quick to worship things other than God. We set up idols in our hearts in place of Jesus. And so, we must pray that God will destroy idols in our hearts and in the hearts of our people. Each of us need His help to identify the things we are worshiping instead of Jesus and ask God, by His grace, to destroy these idols through the preached word, through prayer, and through the power of the Spirit. It’s these idols that often get in the way of our growth in holiness and sanctification. This is true in our own hearts as pastors and it’s true in the hearts of the people in our congregations.
We will consider the final three areas of prayer in my next post...