I want to do a 2 part blog on this topic, mainly because of where God has me personally in my own journey. Today I want to talk about how, as a leader, others can and will minister to us, IF we share our needs and allow them to come along side to pray and support. The following blog post will deal with some specific ways others ministered to me and how that has led me to minister to others.
When two of my prayer warriors sent me prayers early this year, they were letting me know what they would be praying for me as the 2011 began. These meant so much to me that I have read the almost every day this year as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and as a reminder of my sweet friends who are praying.
First, here are the prayers they emailed to me, in the order I received them early this year:
1. From friend #1: I look forward to lifting you in prayer this coming year. I am asking for a new excitement in the Lord for you. I am asking that He gives you abundant wisdom to serve Him and bring Him glory. I am asking that you have the best year of marriage (Note from Chris: this is our 40th year of marriage!) ever and that your children and grandchildren will call you "blessed".
2. From friend #2: Want to start the year off letting you know I am praying for you. I pray that you will have exciting encounters with the Father, up close and personal. I am praying that you will meet the challenges with power and confidence. And that you will have joy and power in every opportunity that the Father wants you to seize. You are loved by Him, and me.
3. From friend #1: Just wanted you to know I again lifted you to our Lord. I continue to ask for a ‘fresh love’ for the work God has given you. I prayed for you and your husband, claiming love, laughter and joy for your marriage. I am asking our Lord to let your see Him in all that you do and recognize His work. I know as you see His Hand in your life your love for Him will only deepen. I ask that any distractions be swept away and your eyes will see Jesus more clearly today than yesterday. Love you, friend.
4. From friend #2: I know God is stretching you and I continue to pray that each and every thing He asks you to do is fresh and new in your heart as you begin. Praying for a renewed love for those you work with everyday and asking God to let you see through His eyes the ministry He has given you.
Now, in January I was coming off a really smooth year! I never take those times for granted, not do I think they will last forever, but I do enjoy them and thank God when I am enjoying them! I also knew that often I am much more desperate for Him in difficult times and even prayed that I might become more desperate for Him without a trial! But I really began the year, just wondering what God would do in 2010, knowing I had no idea, but knowing He would not allow anything He could not walk us through. In the spring, our smooth year did end, and we are in a very different place right now. Certainly not all bad, but certainly I am absolutely desperate for Him moment to moment.
I doubt anyone is ever prepared to face suicide of a family member, no matter the situation. Certainly we were not. Even though he and his wife were separated, and it was not a pretty separation, it completely shell-shocked us all. Three little girls’ lives hung in the balance, now to face life without a dad. No one had any idea if there was any insurance or a way for these girls mom to have the finances to face the future.
But may I say, because I have a history with Him, and as a leader have journeyed through various difficult experiences (and may I add, God never allowed me to step out of ministry during any of them!), I do not doubt in any way, His ability to give all we need for this journey. We are walking one day at a time, and even though I don’t “want” to be here, I can’t wait to see what God teaches us all through it. I know as the prayers above say, I will know Him more intimately and I will love Him more deeply, and I pray my faith will be stronger that it ever has been. Then, I pray God will use it to touch the lives of others.
So, first of all may I ask, as a leader, are you in a tough time in life, personally or in ministry? And if so, are you allowing those around you to know and to minister to you? Leaders, God does not expect you to only minister to the needs of other women, He provides others to surround you when you need support. Let them in! Share your needs, give specific prayer requests, give others the blessing of serving you!