Lives on Loan:
The Importance of Christian Stewardship
one to one: Lessons about life, ministry, and grandkids!
by Keith Burden, Executive Secretary, National Association of Free Will Baptists
Praying for Your Pastor
The parsonage was adjacent to the church property at my first pastorate. My commute to work was very convenient. As I recall, 48 attended my first Sunday service. I couldn’t have been more proud if 480 had been present. Those folks still hold a very special place in my heart.
Most mornings as I walked to the church office, I was greeted by an elderly neighbor lady who lived across the street. Myrtle Shirley was a retired schoolteacher and a member of our church. Frequently, she reminded me that, like Daniel, she prayed three times each day. My name was on the list of those for whom she prayed.
During my brief tenure at the church, it experienced remarkable growth. Even though I was young and inexperienced, I had enough sense to recognize it wasn’t because of me! Success came because God blessed and because folks like Sister Myrtle prayed…a lot.
During this same period, I faced some extraordinary challenges as a “rookie” pastor that could (and probably should) have been my undoing. Only God knows how close I came to failing. Fortunately, like Peter, my church prayed. “But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5b).
More than 30 years have passed, and much has changed. Miss Shirley has long since gone to be with the Lord. My ministry has transitioned from the pastorate to denominational leadership. One thing, however, hasn’t changed—my need for prayer.
Thankfully, faithful prayer warriors still intercede on my behalf. Regularly I receive cards, e-mails, and texts from friends assuring me of their prayers. These always seem to come at the most strategically helpful times. Frankly, I couldn’t do what I do without them.
Jesus understood the importance of prayer. According to Luke 18:1, He once told a parable “to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Paul echoed this sentiment in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 when he wrote, “Pray without ceasing.”
Of all the activities in the church, none is more important or significant than prayer. I am convinced our denomination has an army of prayer warriors. They often mean the difference between victory and defeat in the local church.
Are you a prayer warrior? It doesn’t require special training or equipment. All it takes is commitment and a willingness to get on your knees. For your pastor it could mean the difference between success and failure. Pray for your pastor!
About the Column: One to One is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life, ministry...and grandkids!