Monday, March 7, 2016

A Pastor’s Prayer on Monday
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Every pastor who faithfully studied the Word and exerted all his energy in proclaiming God’s Word faithfully on Sunday feels drained on Monday morning. Preaching God’s Word consists of one of the greatest, most noblest, privileges a man may have. So he preaches. He finishes. He greets people. He hears feedback from the service or sermon. He goes home. Then he goes to bed. His work is done. In all actuality, his work may be done, but the real sermonic application wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God continues. But what does he pray for on Monday? How should be pray?

In this brief essay, I want to help by providing six ways that we as pastors might consider praying on Monday.

1. Pray with faith.
Men of God pray with faith. Prayer without faith is like a conversation without believing the person to whom you’re talking is listening. To pray without faith is to distrust God. After the truth of God has thundered forth, the minister’s work has not finished entirely. He still should pray. He should still pray in faith. He should pray and believe -- confidently believe -- that God is working and that He will work through the heralded Word. Even when there is little visible fruit and when the sermonic interaction after the service is meager or, at times, discouraging, the man of God must come to the throne of grace, in faith, with confidence, by the Spirit, to find mercy and grace for the soul.

2. Pray for eternal-mindset.
Rising early on Monday morning to meet with God is one of the most rewarding, refreshing and re-focusing events in a pastor’s week. He can quiet himself with his Bible and with his God and call upon his most-gracious and ever-available Father. On Mondays, the man of God must reorient the eyes of his heart to gaze upon eternity and to fix his attention upon the eternal truths that have been conveyed through the preaching event. In this early morning time of communion with the Lord, the minister of the gospel may pray that Christ would plunge his heart into the unlimited extremities of eternity as he remembers the high calling of pastoring, the unspeakable gravity of preaching, and the eternal worth of souls.

3. Pray for implementation.
The public work of proclamation is finished. On Monday morning, the pastor-shepherd knows that the private work of soul-application and personal-implementation amongst his flock is happening. There is a mighty, invisible, and often unknown work that God the Spirit is doing as He drives the preached Word deeper into the hearts of His people as they meditate on and re-preach the message to their own hearts. The man of God prays for great fruit in implementation. He earnestly and desperately begs God the Spirit to produce fruit from the preached Word. He is unsatisfied with a sermon with no effect. He prays for believers to be sanctified and to be seized by the glory of Christ. The true minister prays for His people to put the Word to practice through regular and heart-searching examine mixed with fervent resolutions to serve Christ and walk in nearness to Him.

4. Pray for families.
In meeting with the Lord in private prayer, the minister should remember to intercede on behalf of the families. He should pray that God would produce much fruit and bring much good from the preached Word as it continues to reverberate through the home throughout the upcoming week. The pastor should pray for the fathers of the church to be faithful in applying the Word to their own hearts and then to teach the Word faithfully to each of the children as appropriate given their ages. He should pray for the fathers to be leaders in repentance over sin, humility because of grace, and holiness in pursuing Christ. He should also bear up the mothers as they instill the divine truths into the hearts of the children as they teach and instruct them. He should intercede for the mothers to be strong in the unchanging character of God and in the supreme and powerful grace of Christ in the midst of busy and tiring days. He should pray for the children to heed what they’ve heard and to respond to what has been revealed from Scripture. He should pray for unity in the home and harmony in marriages. Let him pray for strong families!

5. Pray for vigilance.
Undoubtedly every minister is so prone to forget that an enemy rages against the souls of those to whom we minister. How easy to believe his subtle lies that we failed in preaching, that no good fruit could possibly come from such a weak exposition, that no one was paying attention and that no one cared because no one gave helpful feedback after the sermon! No! Don’t believe his lies. Every minister should meet with God on Monday before meeting with men to pray early and earnestly for vigilance -- for himself and for every soul in his flock. He must remain vigilant against the enemy’s schemes and he must intercede for the church that the believers may stand strong against the enemy and his wily and cunning darts that are sure to come. The shepherd is to pray that their faith would not stagger, that their trust would not waver, that their hope would not dwindle, and that their zeal would not wane. Let him pray -- and pray earnestly -- for protection from the evil one!

6. Pray for stirring.
Every shepherd wants the truth to penetrate deep into every heart so that the Spirit would bring greater holiness among the saved. For this reason, the minister presents faithful and fervent supplications to God asking that God would stir up His people to love Christ more, to follow Christ unreservedly, and to behold His beauties daily. The pastor should pray for the meat of the Word to provide the sustenance needed for the believers to walk in the good works that God has prepared for them. He should pray for a stirring up of God’s people to take hold of God in prayer, to disciple each other with God’s Word open, to involve themselves in intentional gospel-centered relationships, and to seek opportunities to care for one another in the flock. After he has emptied himself in the proclamation of God’s Word he knows that the people of God are filled full from the proclamation of God’s Word. So he prays for a Spirit-granted, Christ-enthralled, and God-fueled stirring up of the elect to win souls for Christ, to serve God with sacrifice, and to engage in private and public prayer. Let the ministers of the gospel rise early on Mondays -- weary from Sunday’s work and yet, perhaps, unsure of how God will exactly use His Word -- to meet with God in the joyous, heavenly, and heart-warming duty of prayer. The minister on his knees is a mighty weapon in God’s hand.

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