Some will criticize politicians for their prayers today, calling them to action. But, I’m not a lawmaker and I think prayer is action. Not the only action needed, but a good one right now in this moment.
I don’t know all the details and I am not in Las Vegas, but I do have a heavenly father who hears my prayers as I cry out to him.
Here are three things you can pray for this morning as you process these news stories.
I am the pastor of a small to medium-sized rural church. Nothing about us is mega. We aren’t cutting edge. We still do Sunday School, have a meet-and-greet, and have kids come down front during the Sunday morning service for a children’s sermon. I’m sure that there are things that we do that would make church growth experts cringe.
But we are still a part of the body of Christ.
And so is the church 30 minutes up the road where there are more people in the youth ministry than there are in our sanctuary on a Sunday morning.
There was a time, and it was not so very long ago, that we wanted heroes who were flawless. We would look to the past to find people who had an outsized impact on our world and prepare biographies tipped well in the direction of hagiography. We might read a thousand or two thousand pages on a great statesman or theologian and never encounter more than a cursory examination of their shortcomings. Even if we did, those flaws might be brushed aside as mere peripheral information, for we defined our heroes by their accomplishments. There wasn’t much we wanted or needed to know about their flaws and foibles, their sins and transgressions. Any failings we encountered were interpreted in light of their successes. It was the successes that loomed large in our memories and imaginations.
Jesus told us to pray that God’s will would be done, even as His kingdom comes on earth. God’s will being carried out fits hand in glove with the coming of His kingdom, for it’s in God’s kingdom where His will is lovingly and joyfully obeyed. Though it’s good and right for us to seek the answers to specific questions like these, the plain truth is that the vast majority of God’s will has already been revealed to us. His Word is full of commands that reveal the way in which we should live and how we should pray.
While leaders are often held accountable, as they should be, for how they spend other people’s money, leaders also spend other people’s time. Every decision, every meeting, every new direction requires time and energy from the people leaders lead. Leaders steward an incredible amount of other people’s time and energy. When leaders prioritize well, they serve the people they lead well as their time and energy is stewarded with wisdom. When leaders fail to prioritize well, they waste other people’s time, not merely their own. Here are three reasons leaders must excel at prioritization.
Less than a year ago, I helped organize a women’s ministry event focused on discipleship. During this hour-long event, we offered women the chance to ask anonymous questions to a panel of female leaders in the church about the practice of discipleship. It went well. Frankly, a little too well. The five of us participating on the panel ran out of time long before those in attendance ran out of questions.
A favorite from the archives:
Art and creativity have value because of who we are as image bearers of God—because God is creative, so are we. Thus, if God does something, and models it for us to do, we should treat it as valuable. Our best efforts should be expended. We should eschew cheap knock-offs. Creative efforts deserve the best we can give them because God is worthy of our best.