Lord, teach us to pray (Luke 11:1)
Today you will benefit from reading one leader’s thoughts on our response to women in crisis. Linda Lesniewski is the Women’s Minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Read her post to discover the priority she shares in dealing with women in need.
When I learn of losses, tragedies or personal crisis in those I lead, my immediate response is to determine how I can help. I also pray for God to be present in their situation. There’s another dimension of leadership, though, that I’m growing in. I’m learning that after my initial response of sympathy, I can move onward toward empathy. Sympathy involves feeling sad for them, which is appropriate, but empathy allows me to move beyond those numbing emotions and seek God’s redemption of the situation.
Several years ago I copied an Oswald Chambers quote into my prayer journal. I’ve spent this week meditating on the words, “Intercession means raising ourselves up to the point of getting the mind of Christ regarding the person for whom we are praying. True intercession involves bringing the person or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on us (them) before God until we are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. It is having His mind or perspective.” I don’t want to stop short of seeking God’s redeeming power for the situation. After all, redemption is what Jesus was and is all about in our fallen and broken world. I want my prayer to move beyond the immediate patch up or quick fix solution to seeking God’s eternal purposes. I ask God to glorify Himself within the situation and to bring the individual to a new place of faith and love in their relationship with Christ. This fleshes out Jesus’ teaching in The Lord’s Prayer when He asks that God’s “will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-13).
How do you as a leader intercede for those you lead during a personal crisis?
Linda Lesniewski is the Women’s Minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas and the mother of four young adults and grandmother of four little girls. She is a contributor to the book Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level published by LifeWay. She has authored A Little Book About Knowing A Big God for children, Women at the Cross, published by Revell, and Connecting Women: A Relational Guide for Leaders in Women’s Ministry, published by Baker Books.
Hurting Women (category on this blog)
Shepherding Women in Pain, Bev Hislop
I Will Carry You, Angie Smith
Women Reaching Women in Crisis,LifeWay Women Live web cast