One morning on vacation, after I led the family in prayer at breakfast, Benjamin asked, “How do you remember all those names?”
I had just said something like, “And Lord, would you today strengthen and encourage and unify the hearts of Char and Steve and Dean and Tom and Carol and Dawn and Elsie and Phaitoon and Rick and Rob and Leah and Florence and Marvin and Rollin and Roger and Neil and Juan, in Jesus' name. Amen.”
My answer to Benjamin was simple: I can remember those names by heart because I mention them every day when I pray. After my family the staff at Bethlehem hold first place in my prayer life. Why?
- Because I love them very much and want them to be utterly happy and fulfilled in their ministries.
- Because I regard one of my top responsibilities as “senior pastor” to deepen and inspire and challenge, and encourage and strategically position the staff for maximum effectiveness for the glory of Christ.
- Because spiritual warfare is awful. Satan aims to weaken and destroy the leaders, because as the leaders go, so goes the church.
- Because I promised.
Would you join me? We need your daily prayers. When all is roses for you and you do not feel like there is bloodshed in the land, count on it, someone on the staff is trapped in a foxhole with flaming arrows whooshing overhead. Sound the alarm! Call in the heavenly troops “dispatched to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).
On one of his visits to the Continent, Charles Spurgeon (pastor of the large Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, 1853-1892) met an American minister who said, “I have long wished to see you, Mr. Spurgeon, and to put one or two simple questions to you. In our country there are many opinions as to the secret of your great influence. Would you be good enough to give me your own point of view?” After a pause Spurgeon said, “My people pray for me.”