“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prayer IV

During my reading last week, I was struck by Colossians 4:12 -- Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.

After reading this, I asked myself -- "Do I struggle in prayer for the people in my congregation?". Well, I will admit that there are times when I DO struggle in prayer for the church, but the word that struck me in the passage was ALWAYS.

Do we as pastors, lay-leaders, and brothers and sisters, always agonizomai (the word used for struggling) in prayer, for our fellow believers? You can see our word agonize in there, this is a powerful word! It suggests something more than making mention of someone in prayer!

We see a form of this word used again in Colossians 2:1, 2 -- For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ...

If we (pastors), became less enamored with being business leaders, CEOs, polished, professional communicators, and 'positive message' gurus, and spent more time in our study agonizing in prayer over our own condition and the condition of our churches; spending less time in the boardroom directing the commercial 'business' of the church, and more time in the prayer room directing our hearts to God in the true business of the church -- we would find TRUE Church growth in Christians growing ever more in the likeness of Christ!!


Even So... said...

yes, yes, yes!

I was reading this and thinking, "then we would see our church numbers dwindle, but the people themselves grow"...and then, BAM!

Ray said...

Yes, I think the biggest hinderance to true revival and growth in our country is the pastor's obsession with numerical growth.

I am not immune to that bug myself, but I try to keep perspective (not always successfully). I think the uber-successful pastors either lose sight of the main thing, or never had it in sight to begin with.

And I don't want to paint myself as better than them, I just feel that we have gotten away from the disciplines of Bible Study, Prayer, and Worship and have succumbed to the siren song of 'download your sermon, spending more time on a killer illustration, pack-em-in, be a great communicator' mentality that is so pervasive.

We become irrelevant by TRYING to bemore relevant!