I was listening to a Francis Chan sermon today and he was talking about a little old lady who prays for her church constantly. Not little prayers here and there but constantly and consistently. Her church talks all about her more than their pastor! The pastor of her church even says, "In all the years I've known her, she fasts more than she eats!"
So many times we see very talented pastors, who preach the Word charismatically, fall into sin. Ever so often you find a story in the news where a church planter, founder or pastor, falls so far away from what God had called them to be. What happened?
Long ago someone told me, "If you want to get rid of sin, you have to replace it with God."
Replace sin with God
In order to have more of God in your life, you need to pray and read the Word daily. You can't go about your daily life, knowing that He bought you with a price, and try to survive on your own. He gave you the tools to stay connected to Him. He gave you the means to escape temptation and sin.
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
What is that way of escape? It starts with prayer and reading His Word daily.
Wouldn't you rather know your pastor is praying for you and your marriage, your children and your life, every week more than one who is doing busy work? It's an important question. A person's prayer life shows more about their relationship with God than their works. A person who is in constant prayer are closer to God than one who is trying to do things for Him. It's a heart thing. How about the reverse question? If you are a pastor, would you rather have talented people doing things for you constantly or people who are praying for you all week long?
As we are planting ReDiscover Church, I am making it a point to be constantly in prayer, more so than I ever have before. I am praying for those who God would call to be a part of this church, for those who He puts in my path and my family who is supporting me in this difficult path. I pray for God to put it on people's heart to pray for me. Just as Paul said in Ephesians chapter 6.
"Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
I would rather have a faithful person who prays and is close to God more than a talented person riding on their gifts alone and I believe any congregation would want that in their pastor.
At ReDiscover Church we want to be people who are not only called by God but are able to hear His voice daily. We want to be a congregation who prays and raises up disciples who do the same. We want to spread the Gospel to all the nations, but know that we have to begin with spending time with God. We strive to be like Jesus who spent as much time in prayer and fasting as He did miracles.
What about you?