When I was 12 years old I was taught a life lesson by a minister. My mother explained to me that everyone goes to their minister with troubles. Not as many make a special trip to go to them with praises. Ministers have their own trials in life, the trials of the church and all of their congregations burdens. I have never forgotten that. They are human and their shoulders are only so big.
God has laid something heavy on my heart! We have talked a lot about the linemen and the first responders during this time of hurricanes and flooding. And I am so grateful for them and their service. This is not to take away from them. This is in addition to their service.
During this devastation in our area I have watched my pastors tirelessly work. On Sunday as soon as the power was on at our church our minister, Tim, was getting a group together to start cooking for the linemen and community that needed food. They planned for 100 and fed over 300. As he said, it was like the loaves and the fishes. For a week every night a meal was made and served by whoever could get there and help. Faith took care of the kitchen workers, servers and the food.
I know how attentive Tim was to my family and I during my mom's hospital stay. All the while he had his own family, his own hurricane issues, the church and the community. When most churches were cancelled, we had a service online for those who could see it. As Mom and I were in UNC hospital we were thankful for that encouragement. He and our assistant minister, Kim, and two others did the service in the breezeway. It was so special because it showed that no matter our circumstances we can still encourage others and worship! You do not have to have your sanctuary or all of your equipment to have church! In fact, I think it was an extra special service because of that.
While Duke energy is certainly important to all of us I think we need to also think about our spiritual energy. We all need our energy to be restored! There has been a lot of devastation, a lot of tough stories, a lot of loss, etc. Our church is always packed but since the hurricane we have had to bring in more chairs and ask people to move to the middle so every seat can be used! There is a reason our church has been packed since the storm. People want hope! People want to hear about Jesus! Last Sunday I told Mike that the crowd reminds me of 9-11. Remember how packed our churches were during that time?
As Christians this is a time for us to encourage and give hope in the name of Jesus. It is not just for our ministers to do. We are also ministers for Christ. We need to be lifting up others and our ministers at this time. Our minsters get weary and burdened! How do I know this? Because they are human. Jesus had a hard time serving. He was criticized, tired and in agony. If Jesus felt that way we need to be lifting our pastors daily and when they come to mind! Let's pray for them so they can carry on and be more like Jesus.
Let's also pray specifically for their spouses and families. During a time like this they get put on the back burner and they get the generator power. Just enough to keep a few things running. They were not called into the ministry but they are supportive. They get weary and burdened also! One of our ministers was out for surgery and I got texts from his wife about my mom! That was so special to see her picking up the pieces for her husband because they are a team!
Let's pray for our pastors. You can insert your pastors names.
Father God, we love you and adore you. We bow before you today in prayer for our pastors and their families. God, I thank you for Tim, Kim, Barry and Chris and all of our staff who are working so hard. You know what they mean to my family and I! This has been a very busy time for them and they are being there for everyone else while they have their own families, their own lives and their own trials. God I pray for them and all pastors working so hard to further Your Kingdom!
God I pray for you to give them strength before they realize how weak they are. I ask for you to give them energy when they are tired, physically and emotionally. Renew their spirit before they even know they need rest. Help them to remember even if they are weak the Spirit is strong! I ask You to defend and protect them. Speak truth to them when they are under attack. Motivate them to seek You daily. Help them to have a grateful heart. I pray they feel You crowning them with unfailing love and compassion like a king! Please let them feel all of the prayers going up by the many people who love them and the many people who do not know them but know You! In Jesus' precious name we pray, Amen!
Galatians 6: 2, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." As a disciple we are to help our pastors bear the burden of the ministry. If we promote the work of the kingdom with our pastors for the vision of our church and city, the Spirit will move through us. Imagine what can be done! What an awesome responsibility we have! And what an awesome honor to work for God!