I write a weekly devotional for my church which is inserted in our church bulletin. This week, I wanted to thank my church for their warm, thoughtful, and kind "Pastor's Appreciation" gifts. So, I used the "Pastor's Pen" to do so as well as request their prayers in 4 areas of my life. Here is what I wrote:
"They tell me October is Pastor’s Appreciation Month. Many have taken time to share thoughtful gifts, cards, and other expressions of gratitude with Kylah and me. Thank you! We are deeply grateful for your kindness and are humbled to serve as pastoral family at New Life. These first five months have been a blessed learning experience. You have welcomed us with open arms, genuine smiles, and loads of love. As we continue to grow together, please pray for pastor and his family in 4 key areas:
1. Pray for Pastor’s Wife
God has given me a “good thing” in my precious wife (Proverbs 18:22). She is markedly intelligent, sincerely spiritual, resplendently gorgeous, and refreshingly humorous. I am honored to be her husband. My calling is to love her as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). My constant prayer is that she experiences the fulfillment of God’s dreams for her life and for our union to glorify God and edify others.
2. Pray for Pastor’s Prayer & Devotional Life
In his letter to the Philippian church, the apostle Paul says, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” (Philippians 3:8). To know Jesus and grow in Him is the goal of a healthy prayer and devotional life. Not only does pastor want a healthy prayer and devotional life, but he also needs it. Pray that I have a strong, ever-increasing connection with God through prayer, fasting, and Bible study.
3. Pray for Pastor’s Preaching
“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). God has chosen for the Gospel to be primarily communicated through the preached Word. No one is sufficient for such an awesome task, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Pray that pastor’s preaching might be biblical, Christ-centered, clear, inspiring, engaging, and Spirit-filled.
4. Pray for Pastor’s Physical Health & Mental Purity
The enemy loves to target a pastor’s health and purity. I am no exception. It has a lot to do with his understanding of pastoral influence. In many instances, he attacks the spiritual health of the flock by aiming at the under shepherd. I want to be a physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy pastor. One of the best Scripture passages you can pray is Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Pray for pastor to have purity of body, thought, motive, and action.
Church, I believe God has special plans for us and I am excited to witness how He directs by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for committing to praying with and for me. Know that I am praying for you too!"
I invite you to join my church in praying for me in these areas and I encourage you to pray for your pastor(s) as well. In advance, thank you!
"Pray also for me..." -Ephesians 6:19