Showing posts from September, 2020

How to pray for your pastors and the Church as a whole

Lord Jesus, You have called many people I know into a holy and difficult calling: pastoring. They step into battle week after week against spiritual and physical enemies. They are called by you to lead my local church, which is part of the global church. I pray you will protect and nourish my pastors' souls and spirits today. I pray for their vision, clarity, compassion, and endurance. I pray a hedge around their families and their emotions; be a rear guard against anyone how wants to attack them and to go before them into battle. Because we are in a battle, all of us. But you have placed some special people on the front lines, and they are probably getting tired of it.  Church is hard for everybody. I wonder why that is? I guess because we're all human. We're selfish, and we ruin every blessing that God gives us. I pray for my church, and I pray for my pastors.  I especially ask you to protect them against attacks from believers because that discourages ministers more than

Teach me to grieve (for myself and others)

 Oh, Lord,  You are the God of comfort . Teach me to grieve .  It makes me uncomfortable, but it's so necessary for healing and perspective. Help me to trust your love and care enough to lean into pain and trauma and the wild uncertainty of hard times, of personal and collective  crisis . You are a God of compassion . Teach me to grieve for others. give me perspective and empathy and sincerity that other people's experiences are different and just as traumatic and difficult than my own. Maybe even more! I want to be kind and willing to sit with them in their pain without passing judgment,  assuming I have the answers, or teaching them how to feel or act in their pain. You are a God of forgiveness . Teach me to be forgiving when I feel that someone has wronged me, misunderstood me,  or hurt me. You give us chances, over and over-- a thousand million chances to change, to repent, to revive, to follow. Help me repent of my own sin and refuse to be the judge and jury for everyon

Praying about good news in us and through us

Oh, Lord, There's not a lot of good news flying around these days. Not a lot to make us joyful or optimistic. Not a lot that is attracting the world to the church. In fact, our news--and our handling of the news-- is probably pushing people away. If we're going to bite and devour one another, who wants that kind of religion? What a terrible misrepresentation of who God is. God, I'm asking you to change us. Change me more every day. I want my life, my words, and my testimony to spread good news about God's love, Jesus' death, and the Church Jesus started. And so I pray Colossians 1:3-6 over all of us: Each time we pray for you,  we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all God's people, because what you hope for [not political victory]  is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message,  which is the good news. The go

The Back-to-work prayer

Wow, Lord, I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm back in the old-but-not-normal grind. It's physical work but virtual, too. I'm having to get up early, work all day, and manage to do everything in person and online. It's great to wear normal clothes and see human faces, even behind masks. But every day is a new struggle. Something's different. Something's changed forever. Something's harder than before. So much has changed, sometimes I resent that I can no longer  plan  or feel secure about my work or my life. I belong to you. My work belongs to you. Why is it so hard for me to be joyful about my situation? Convict me when I complain about how things used to be. Remind me that you are a God of transformation -- you don't want anything to stay the same. Not even me. Not ever. When I feel inconvenienced or overlooked, remind me that I'm here on a global mission , in your service, for your glory. It's not about me.

A Labor Day prayer, for those of us who labor too much to listen

Dear Lord, I'm so grateful to sit outside this weekend and marvel at the beauty of your world. Thank you for this weekend--for the chance to rest and breathe and think. I labor too much. My labor keeps me from hearing you speak. So often, I'm too busy to hear you speak. I want your wisdom, but I don't sit down long enough to listen. I don't stop the noise and the activity and wait. I don't go where I can hear you, some place where the noise is music, and everything reveals your glory. Speak, Lord. Speak your love and blessing over me. Help me hear and remember your promises . Open my heart to be tender to conviction and correction, to recognize where I need to change and then to have the courage to do it. Change me. Mold me. Renew me. I'm leaning into you, Lord. Speak to me. Every day that I sit in your presence is a Sabbath day. Lord, may I sit and listen every week and every day! In Jesus' name, Amen. Six days you shall