Praying for the pastor in 2016...

by Gavin  

Praying for the pastor in 2016...

What to pray for your pastor in 2016…

 

I started reading through Jeremiah in early December, thinking I’d take big chunks and try and be done by New Year.  It didn’t happen.  Things just jumped out of the text, and grabbed me around the throat and shook me around a bit.  I supposed the double-edged sword, the living and active Word, will always do that, right?

 

But here’s where I have been for the past 2 days… and the more I read and meditate, the more profoundly this is applied – the end of chapter 15.  It is a great chapter, dealing with Jeremiah’s own calling and ministry.  From verse 10 Jeremiah has slipped into somewhat of a pity party, because prophetic ministry about sin and repentance and judgement is hard – it hasn’t gone down well.  He’s feeling personally bruised and battered, and in fact, a little betrayed by God.  God confront Jeremiah on that, and challenges him to deal with his own self-pity and impatience.  That is the context of verse 19…

 

Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.” (Jeremiah 15:19, ESV)

 

I fully understand that this was written to Jeremiah, and not to me.  But, there are three timeless principles I think that any pastor, preacher, ministry or rector could be applying today.  This sounds horribly baptistic, with 3 points which are alliterated, but think about these.  This is what I have prayed for myself for 2016 and beyond.  I you want to know how to pray for me, or your own pastor, maybe use this as something of a framework.

 

  1. To commit to minister from a CONDITION of repentance

 

Jeremiah was told quite simply by God, “Get your heart and life right, turn around, walk right and I will restore you.”  He could stand and serve as a prophet only if his life was right, and no evident, recurrent and unconfessed sin was a hindrance.  Well, even pastors and preachers are sinners, but in that position of humble awareness of our own deficiencies, there should never be complacency and an unwillingness to change.  That’s what my brother Glen preached on Sunday from Colossians 3… put sin to death.  Murder it off. 

 

Pray that I would be under the conviction of the Spirit this year as the Lord exposes more of my own heart, and drives me back to the cross again and again and again.

 

 

  1. To commit to minister with sound CONTENT

 

If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth.

 

The point is quite clear right… purge out the dross from what is said.  The content of Jeremiah ministry, and I venture to say of all those who claim to be a minister of God, should be pure, precious and undefiled.  We do not have the liberty to use our stages and podiums and pulpits as a space for opinion, self-promotion and conclusions from a text that are not actually God’s intention from that text.  The temptation to do otherwise is huge, because the world loves the darkness.  People in churches want to have their ears tickled.  That is worthless is very popular, because it appeals to the base side of people: “Tell what makes me feel good, look good and don’t rattle my cage!” 

 

But to truly be God’s mouthpiece means that content needs to be precious, and not worthless.  That means hard study mining out the truth as God intended, and then correctly applying that to our people.

 

Pray I would be committed to that this year!

 

  1. To commit to minister with no COMPROMISE of truth

 

They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them

 

The point to Jeremiah was simple… “Your country and people will want you to turn to their ways because they are stubborn.  The pressure will be on to dilute the truth, so as to allow them to go on doing what they are doing.  DO NOT DO THAT!”

 

We have to learn from that today, right?  Pastors, hammer the stake deep into the ground.  Biblical truth and standards are just that – the true standards.  Let society, the world, the unsaved in our churches, the sinning believer hear and see and know what God demands, and let them turn to that standard, but never ever lower the standard. 

 

Pray that would be true of the Randburg Baptist Church pulpit inn 2016, plus our ministry areas where other teaching occurs.  Pray for our neighbouring churches… there are good, sound evangelical churches which are faithful to the Word, but many where a weak, man-centred and false “gospel” is promoted.  Pray for faithfulness, accuracy and discernment.

 

But pray for me as I shepherd at Randburg Baptist Church – for a right heart condition, accurate content and a desire to never compromise.

 

Thanks for the support and partnership in the gospel!

2 comments

Comment from: Cobus Dreyer [Visitor]
Cobus Dreyer

Hi Gav

Inspiring - Will be praying with you.

01/25/16 @ 07:37 pm
Comment from: Gavin [Member]

Thanks Cobus - things to be mindful of as the year progress, because everything is stacked against us in this…

01/25/16 @ 07:50 pm

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