Saturday, March 8, 2014
Present Prayer Theme: Pastors
By Daneille Gray Snowden
I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me to have our prayer warrior mom's to lift up our church pastor's. We all have many different spiritual leaders in the communities we live in, and they all need our prayers. My spirit aches deeply for pastors who are preaching the complete Word of God. Those who with great unction plus compassion, speak in front of handfuls to thousands pouring out God's anointed message each week.
There is a cost, God does have an enemy who wants God's Word tainted. The enemy wants to distract pastors and parishioners from hearing the challenge presented week after week. As when a Pastor spends great time praying and basking in the Presence of God; then God leads them in unique directives for the church. The cost comes with an onslaught of attacks that without prayers and support, a pastor can become deeply discouraged to the point of defeat.
Each October, here in the United States churches celebrate: Pastor's Appreciation Day. It's one day a year, that the Body comes together to express their love to their spiritual leader. Can I tell you even though that is great churches do this; yet, daily pastors need everyone's prayers, love, support and help. Too many times pastor's are having to put messages together, counsel, be the substitute Sunday school teacher, youth leader, clean the church, host missionaries and evangelists and well the list continues endlessly. Many pastors are also just wore out physically. [By-the-way; when I express pastors, the entire family is included. Many times the wife is part of the ministry as much as the husband. (Or if their is a female pastor vice-versa). The children eventually are right by their parents side, or sacrificing personal time, as their parents are counselling, and such.] Much of the time, spiritual leaders are THRILLED serving the Lord, for God has filled them with amazing zeal and abundant love for people.
So, why is it that 1,700 every month? For some, it's burn out, as others have been deeply wounded in their spirits. From the beginning of time, strife has been a destroyer of families including church families. When a man or woman answers the call to serve a church, most of the time he leaves the comforts of extended family and good financial security to serve. Only God can stir a 'man's' heart to do this, He fills the ministry couple with His Love to the point that they can't wait to serve. Yet, as they do...eventually in some churches (not all) a hateful spirit of gossip, condescension, and even apathy start sewing it's thread through out the church with the needle pricking the heart of a pastor.
In these tumoultuous day we all live, we see a new age teaching that has crept within the theology of the church. We also observe that church attendance has decreased as well; less than 17.7% of the population attends a Christian church on any given weekend. [source] As well as mainline denominations have reported a deep decline in the past 30 years. Thus, apathy has been an over-whelming difficulty for churches and their leaders. The feeling of disconnect from one another in the Body is a major battle for a local pastor to encounter. The more the disconnect, the less help any spiritual leader has to teach, preach, worship, and take the church to where God has intended.
Lately, I also have noticed bountiful attacks physically on pastors. Just within our own very small community, in the past ten years we have seen a few pastors pass away (fairly young), have cancer, encountering debilitating diseases and injuries. It's clear the devil himself is angry and is not letting up his raging war on the servants of God. Most of God's men and woman are dug-into God's Word, clinging tight to His strong Hand and looking intently to Him for all the strength and guidance there is. But, we as prayer warriors must never 'let-up' praying fervently for the pastors in our community. Praying through, being sensitive to the spirit to lead us at any given time or place to pray for these men and woman. In addition, reaching out to them as well...availing yourself to help as you are able.
As a co-pastor and a pastor's kid; I can tell you; we FEEL the prayers. We also can reflect through out the years and remember those who stood not just behind us, but beside us. We remember those who treated our children as their own grandchildren, or niece/nephew. We always lived far away from our own extended family thus; our church was and still is our family.
Jesus is coming oh so soon. We need a revival in the church of Jesus Christ; and we need our pastor's to preach all what God has for Army of God. To also, lead us with great vision to areas of ministry that will affect our community for the Kingdom of God.
Let's all make a commitment together to be diligent praying for our pastor's. As we do, God will fill us with such an amazing amount of love and even understanding the heart of a pastor.