|June 2, 2021|
June Prayer Domain Newsletter:
Remembering Those Who Have Helped Shape Prayer in My Life
A few days ago I had the opportunity of traveling to SE Texas to celebrate a special event. A pastor/friend, whose teaching and ministry I had sat under for 20+ years, was stepping down to enter into a new chapter of ministry. The Lord was assigning him to new responsibilities. He was NOT retiring! He was experiencing a course change in his walk with the Lord.
Before I left his church to move to Tucson, I was privileged to be a co-laborer in ministry with Scott (my pastor/friend) for over 8 years. Now, it is not uncommon to become “emotionally attached” to whatever church or congregation we attend. However, when one is in leadership, one finds themselves being poured into or invested into the lives of others. While one might intuitively say, “well that makes sense,” the truth is often times we don’t realize it until those course changes happen. Returning to my previous church after being gone 4 ½ years brought back a plethora of emotions and memories long packed away.
The remembrance of Scott encouraging me, and at times prodding me, to pursue prayer deeper, I remember so very long ago and very early in my Christian walk when I would try to memorize the prayers of others because I was (literally) fearful of being called upon to say the closing prayer in our Sunday school class. When I learned that prayer was simply having a conversation with God (yes, I learned this as an adult) and not about trying to out-pray the next person or impress people with a deep understanding of scripture, I was relieved and thrilled. Over the years, Scott encouraged me to think outside the box and to consider taking a more active role in praying for others. By the time I moved away, I had been leading a weekly prayer group and was involved in the altar team prayer ministry (a ministry I deeply loved).
Going back to my former church reminded me of the impact Scott had on my life as my pastor, co-worker, and friend. But, as I saw old friends that day, I was also mindful of those not named who helped shape my prayer life through their encouragement and by their example. I need to state that I am NOT putting man in front of God by giving man all the credit. It is God who directs us, empowers us, and grows us. But, it is also God who brings men & women of faith and of prayer to speak into our lives God’s truth, inspiration, support and love (etc.). And I cannot leave out seeing those whom God had given me the opportunity to come alongside in their desire for a deeper, more fulfilled prayer life. Is this, in part, what it means to being a spiritual mentor?
In closing, have you experienced something similar? Do you remember those who challenged and encouraged you in prayer? Have you found yourself challenging and encouraging others – that next generation of pray-ers? I hope you will take a moment to thank the Lord for bringing these saints of the past into your life who helped to mold and shape you. I hope you will take a moment to thank the Lord for giving you the desire and opportunities to speak about prayer with others. As pray-ers – we definitely need each other. And we need those who are just discovering prayer.
As I stated in the last newsletter, if you are interested in being part of an Intercessory Prayer Team, please let me know. This team’s sole purpose is to pray for the needs within 4Tucson as an organization and as a ministry. Prayer requests or needs will only be sent out by email.
Lastly, the next Prayer zoom prayer time will be on Thursday, June 24th, 4-5pm. You will be able to register and receive the zoom link in my next newsletter.
Blessings & Shalom,