Monday, June 27, 2011

How Does Your Pastor Pray?

Recently I read of Ci, a Border Collie that has developed a fear of sheep. Imagine! A sheepdog afraid of sheep! The only way the shepherd is able to keep the flock from getting the upper-hand (stamping their feet and ganging up) is to get behind the herd with dog, call the sheep, and when the sheep approach, the dog runs off in the direction the shepherd actually wants to go!

Now imagine a pastor that is driven by his congregation--flock-driven, if you will. Not hard to do, is it?

Sadly this is the condition of many churches today, with ovinophobic leaders. This is not leadership at all—and the congregation becomes not-sheep, but . . . well, I’m not sure what they are, but they are not sheep.

The Apostle Paul regards the Ephesians in a special way—he gushes with gratitude for this church. He says in his prayer concerning them, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15-16)

Paul is thankful that this church consists of Christ-followers, exercising faith in their Lord. From the beginning when they first repented, to their continual walk with Him by faith, their faith is known and measurable. Paul thanks God for His work in them, and he wants them to know of his gratitude. This is deeper than the kind of gratitude that helps a family stay strong. There is a great God at work building His church and Paul wants them to know they are a special part of what God is doing, and God is still doing that work. They are growing in faith because they are followers, not drivers.

Paul is also thankful in the love they show for all the saints. They love each other. That’s right—they do something else besides spending 30 seconds welcoming each other after singing and before the announcements. They love others because they first love God. They pray for one another and support each other in their walk in the Lord. They are receiving instruction and are obedient.

How is your pastor praying for you? Are you cause for great rejoicing and thankfulness, or is he on the run?

How is your faith moving you forward in obedience?

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