Pastors & Prayer
I started reading The Pastor and Counseling by Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju. I'm reading it because I've found that that I'm spending more and more time counseling and feel unprepared the vast majority of the time. As I was reading chapter one these quotes hit me ... HARD.
"When pastors move away from personal ministry to almost exclusively public or administrative tasks, they can easily lose sight of the profound need in their midst, and this will have a numbing effect on their prayers. Jesus taught us to pray to the Father with kingdom desperation (Matt. 6:7-13), and bearing the burdens of your people will drive you to desperate prayer."
"Witnessing the desperation that sin and its effect cause in people's lives will bring a holy desperation to a pastor's prayers. The misery of the world is often what prompts the prayers of God's people. And pastors must not insulate themselves from this prompting."
"Coming alongside people in impossible circumstances will be a constant reminder to the pastor of his need for the God of the impossible."
"It is true - many of the issues that will confront you in personal ministry are beyond your experience and your ability to handle adequately."
"... your confidence in the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the proclamation of his Word. What goes for the pulpit goes for the counseling room."
"As we grow in skill, both exegetically and homiletically, we more easily forget our dependance upon the Lord to speak through his Word."
"... any sense of inadequacy in counseling should not be reason to avoid it; rather, it should keep you dependent on God to what he alone can do."
Pastors are called to shepherd beyond their ability. It's a good thing that we have God who isn't surprised by anything. He has the power to supply what we need in order to accomplish what He has called us to do. He calls us to be faithful to Him, as we remain desperately dependent on Him.