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Ask Me If I Prayed Today.


Really.  Please.  I need your help.  I am a brother (or sister) in Christ who needs to be held accountable.  Ask me if I have prayed today.

I am working with a team on gathering information, formulating a plan, and executing the plan for a new sound system in the sanctuary.  We’re also gathering information on video technologies, all the while trying to maintain the aesthetics and sacredness of worship space. Ask me if I have prayed today.

I had to work out an issue with a staff member.  It was painful for me and for the staffer.  Or maybe I looked at the budget and looked at our need and can’t figure out how we are going to staff for the need.  Or maybe I’ve been working on personnel policies or job descriptions or evaluations.  Ask me if I have prayed today.

Not only did I work on two sermons for this week (midweek Lenten worship and all), but I am trying to work ahead for Holy Week sermons.  This involves reading; Scripture, commentaries, newspapers, blogs, and more.  Outlines and manuscripts; prep and practice.  Ask me if I have prayed today.

I’m trying to spend some time with my spouse, kids, grandkids, and other family now, since I won’t be with them during Holy Week.  I might be physically present with my family, but my mind is on the next worship service.  Ask me if I have prayed today.

We’re also in the midst of restructuring how we make decisions as a congregation.  This is a long, involved process and must be done carefully.  Ask me if I have prayed today.

I found out that a member is dying (expected), another member’s parent is dying (unexpected), and another is going through some serious issues with their adolescent child.  Another is struggling with job decisions and still another is working through housing issues.  Ask me if I have prayed today.

And when you ask me if I have prayed today, make sure that I don’t simply answer, “Yes” and try to avoid the topic.  Chances are that I have, in fact, been praying in those situations… but that’s not what you need to be worried about.  Ask me if I have been praying for ME.  Not for other people.  Not for the congregation.  For ME.  Just because I am a pastor does not mean that I don’t need to pray for myself; it’s just that I often neglect it.  I need your help, I need you to ask me if I prayed today – if I prayed for ME.

God loves us and wants to hear from us.  We are to pray – even pastors – for others AND for ourselves.  God wants to hear from us; what loving parent does not want to hear from their children?  Even when I know what my kids have done, I still love hearing about their day from them, in their own words, with their own voice.  So much more does my heavenly Father want to hear from US.

Intellectually, we pastors know this.  But we need your help, your gentle reminders, that we need to pray for ourselves.  Everything I listed above was just a sprinkling of things a pastor does, and not everything on that list currently or ever applied to me… but they could.  So ask your pastor if s/he prayed today – and make sure to find out if they prayed for themselves.  And, once you’ve done that, there is one more thing you can do.

Pray for your pastor.


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