We’ve all heard it said that ministry is tough. Often, our response in the face of such difficult labor is to grit our teeth and press on. Perhaps we could all use a bit more grit and endurance. But maybe we need something more. Maybe we need more prayer. Because ministry is tough, we desperately need the power of prayer.
Speaking to a group of Christians on the subject of prayer is one of the quickest ways to reduce them all to a heap of whimpering, quivering, guilt-laden people. This article is not intended to push guilt, but to promote prayer. Here are a few encouraging exhortations on the subject of prayer.
Pray for yourself.
First, don’t be ashamed to pray for yourself. Praying for yourself is not an act of selfishness. It is an act of humility. Prayer forces us to acknowledge that cannot accomplish for ourselves what we need God to do. Be willing to spend a few minutes each day, or at brief intervals throughout the day, in prayer.
Pray for your people.
If it weren’t for the people, ministry would be so easy, right? Well, since the people are there, they need prayer — everyone of us. You can’t solve your people’s problems. You’re engaged in a spiritual battle, and your feeble human powers cannot change hearts. God can, and you must be pleading with him to affect change in the hearts of those whom you minister to.
Seek prayer from others.
Perhaps the greatest way to prosper in ministry is by building a team of prayer supporters. Don’t shy away from asking people to pray for you. Make it your goal to build a small group of people who can pray for you, and whom you can pray for. Growing this small army of prayer warriors will do more to prosper your ministry than any other action you take. Seek for prayer partners among
- Your leadership team. Since these are the people activeely involved in the work of the ministry, it only makes sense for them to be praying with you and praying for you.
- The people you lead. Seek out individuals whom you respect, and humbly entreat them for prayer support. By doing so, you will both give them an opportunity to minister, and grow your own ministry through their prayer support.
- Your family. Is your family on your side? Seek prayer support from those who are closest to you. They fight the same battles you fight. It’s been said that “a family that prays together, stays together.” Prayer as a family will help to grow your unity as a family.
Prayer is essential, because ministry is tough. It’s not only that ministry is tough, however. Ministry is downright impossible without God’s direction and guiding. The battles you fight are spiritual. The ministry you participate in is beyond your natural human ability.
There is no magical key to success. There is only an infinite, loving, wise, and powerful God — and prayer, our means of communicating directly with Him.