The last two months have been very hard. For one it is winter and cold. The kids have been in and out and then in and out of school. It makes for some very interesting weeks.
The loss of my biological dad in January still finds me asking many questions and I find tears surfacing at the strangest and most inconvenient times.
Our church is in the middle of 40 days of prayer and fasting. Today is the 20th day. Tonight we prayed together as a family for our community, our church, and our home. Our church family has filled a board with their names so that everyday some one is praying and fasting. It has been a sweet time of hearing testimonies of God's grace and power.
I too have enjoyed the time. But, I have also been extremely challenged by it as well. The flesh screams very loud for attention!
Over the next 20 days I am adding my husband to my list. Yes, I pray for him regularly, but the Lord has reminded me of a devotion I read recently that convicts my heart deeply. It is this devotion by Lisa Ryken in the book Devotions for Ministry Wives that reminds me of the privilege I have to pray for him faithfully. I pray you would join me in praying not only for your own husband, but also for your Pastor as well.
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20
One of the most challenging sermons I've ever heard was based on this text from Ephesians, urging believers to pray for their preachers. The apostle Paul was a brilliant preacher and a bold evangelist, yet he recognized that, in order for his ministry to be effective, he needed people to pray for him. Preaching the gospel is a solemn task. To proclaim the Word of God a
preacher needs words from God, so that he will depend on God's Word and not on his own skill. he needs the freedom and boldness to proclaim the gospel fearlessly, not telling people what they want to hear but what God wants them to hear. A preacher must proclaim the mystery of the gospel, not a carefully calculated plan for moral improvement. He must make sinners uncomfortable with their sin and point them to Jesus Christ. Finally, ministers need endurance in tribulation. They need to bear the burdens of their congregation as they stay tender to the pain of sin.
By the end of the sermon I was in tears. I realized how much I need to pray for my husband and how little I actually did pray for him. Even more than that, I felt the weight of his burden to preach the gospel. As his wife I must bear that burden with him and pray for him faithfully.
Lord, thank you for the faithful preachers who open your Word to us plainly. Thank you for my husband and his gift for proclaiming the gospel. Please give him boldness and endurance. Please forgive me for praying infrequently and weakly. Equip me to be his constant prayer warrior. Amen.