Yesterday, as I was preparing to give a devotional at our church business meeting, I read through the book Joel Beeke and Brian Najapfour edited entitled Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer.
In the chapter: Prayerful Praying Today written by Beeke, I found this quote by Charles Bridges (1794-1869). He writes on the need for revival in prayer based on Acts 6:4, which says,”We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
Writing specifically to ministers, and commenting on that verse, Bridges writes,
Prayer is one half of our Ministry; and it gives to the other half all its power and success. it is the appointed medium of receiving spiritual communications for the instruction of our people. Those who walk most closely with God are most spiritually intelligent in the “the secret of his covenant.” Many can set their seal to Luther’s testimony, that he often obtained more knowledge in a short time by prayer, than by many hours of laborious accurate study. It will also strengthen our habitual engagedness of our hearts in our work, and our natural exercises and capacities for it. Living near to the fountain-head of influence, we shall be in the constant receipt of fresh supplies of light, support, and consolation – to assist us in our duties, to enable us for our difficulties, and to assure us of our present acceptance, and a suitable measure of ultimate success.
After reading Beeke and the quote from Bridges, conviction set in. I don’t pray enough. So today, I renewed my commitment to being a minister who prays more.
Want you do the same if your prayer life is lacking? Half our duties as a minister is to be in prayer for our people, our work, our community, our family, and our personal growth in God’s Word. If we are not spending the necessary time, then we are neglecting half our God given duties. Neglecting half your work as a business man, farmer, or school teacher would not be acceptable, so why should it be acceptable for a pastor?
Questions for Reflection
- Is prayer a priority in your ministry?
- Do you spend time in prayer each day asking the Lord to strengthen you, give you insight, and wisdom?
- Do you too need to renew your commitment to pray more?