Hebrews 13:18 - 19
Growing up in the church, I have seen some church scandals of prominent leaders get thrown into the media spotlight. I have also seen lesser known church leaders gradually slide into a sinful lifestyle which ends up hurting the church greatly. These events hurt so badly because they are our leaders and it can be shocking to see them fall into the very sin they preach against. I think it is important for us to remember that they are human just like us and deal with the same temptations that we deal with. I have known people that joined the staff at a church and became disheartened because they saw the more human side of their church leader, forgetting that every human (whether a leader or not) is going to have gifts given to them by God and they are also going to have weaknesses that they have to learn to work with. We sometimes hold our leaders to a level of accountability that we are not willing to hold ourselves to. However, we need to be careful not to judge them; rather, we need to be praying for our church leaders. What I wrote yesterday, applies for today and we need to make sure that when we pray for our church leaders we are not praying selfish prayers that only benefit ourselves. The early church leaders asked for prayer and we can still be praying the same prayers over our current leaders. Please look up Hebrews 13:18-19.
The author of Hebrews is asking for prayer explaining that they want to continue living honorably and with a clear conscious. A church leader bears the same temptations that we all face and they need prayer to have the strength to resist the temptation. Church leaders know that they are not exempt from living “honorably in every way,” and they desire to live a life that honors God. If we are not praying for our leaders to have the strength to live a life that honors God, then we are doing them a disservice.
Paul lets us know of some other things to be praying over our church leaders in 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2. The first thing that Paul asks for prayer is that the message of God will be spread quickly and will be honored. Paul asks for this prayer in Colossians 4:3-4 and in Ephesians 6:19-20. In these verses we see that Paul asks for prayer that they are able to give the message of Christ clearly and that he will be able to give the message fearlessly. He also asks that they pray that the Spirit give him the words to say. We need to be praying for our leaders each week as they prepare to give a message to the church and to those that are seeking.
There are a few more points of how we should be praying for our church leaders that I want to explore tomorrow. Are you praying for your church leaders? Are you praying for them to resist temptation? Are you praying that they can speak the truth of Christ boldly?