Pastor Appreciation Month: Praying God’s Word for Our Pastors

Pastor Appreciation

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. – 1 Timothy 5:17

We have all been given gifts by the Spirit to be used in building up the body of Christ. We are all deserving of respect and honor. But, the Word says that our pastors and leaders among us are worthy of a little extra measure because they have been given the duty of overseeing the equipping of the body for the work of ministry.

He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service.. – Ephesians 4:11-12

October has been set aside as Pastor Appreciation Month. It’s a month that we are all encouraged to find some simple and intentional ways to honor and bless our pastors.

There is no greater gift we can give these spiritual leaders among us than to pray for them. And using God’s Word is our greatest tool to pray with power and effectiveness. When we are praying God’s Word we are praying God’s will.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have not been praying for the leaders in my life as often as I should – but I want to change that.

Like many other things in life, developing new prayer habits must sometimes be done intentionally. My plan is to use this month to establish my family and I in the practice of praying for the leaders in our life.

Here are a few scriptures that we are beginning to use to help us pray on a daily basis.

Note: The following is meant to help me establish a routine with my kids. I absolutely believe it’s important that we spend time alone in extended, Spirit led prayer for the leadership within the body.

Monday – Pray for fruit in his daily life
Lord, pray that the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will produce in his daily life.

Tuesday – Pray for his family management
Lord, help him to manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity – 1 Tim 3:5

Wednesday – Pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation
I pray that you give him a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that he may know You better. – Ephesians 1:17

Thursday – Pray his love would abound for the people appointed to his care
I pray, that his love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that he may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ – Philippians 1:9

Friday – Pray for his soul’s refreshment and strength
Lead him to green pastures and quiet waters – restore his soul; guide him in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake – Psalm 23:3

Saturday – Pray for deliverance from temptation
Lead him not into temptation, but deliver him from evil – Matthew 6:13

Sunday – Pray for power and boldness to preach the Word
Help him to proclaim Your kingdom and teach about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. – Acts 28:31

Promises That Proceed From Humility

Promises that proceed from humility

It’s funny that my Bible study would be on humility this morning. God knows what we need, when we need it!

The Lord helped me to recognize that the position of my mind has been in a selfish and arrogant posture towards my husband – and I have NOT wanted to admit it!

Humility is a quality that the Bible speaks highly of. However, if I’m completely honest I have to admit that it is something I’d rather learn about from a distance.

I want knowledge of its goodness and benefits, but many times, I don’t want to walk through the circumstances that lead to possession of it.

Because, sometimes acquiring humility requires trial and testing. It requires hurt and pain. It requires stepping out of my little zone of comfort and choosing to put more faith and trust in Him.

Humility means I have to humble myself.

It requires denying my preferences, my happiness and my conveniences.

It means admitting that hard, undesired truth about the condition of my heart.

It means I must confess my prideful attitudes.

It means I must confess that I am walking the line of fear rather than faith.

As I read over some scriptures, His word pierced my heart with the blade of conviction. I was broken by the thought that my subtle actions were more inclined to tear my husband down rather than build him up.

Although it can be unpleasant, there is a beauty in conviction because it begins a flow of grace. Conviction flows towards repentance and repentance flows towards cleansing, refreshment and renewing.

So by His strength, I humbled myself, apologized to my husband and allowed the Lord’s forgiveness to wash over me.

Praise You, Lord!

Here are a few of the promises that proceed from humility I read this morning.

The humble are revived

I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly, to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

The humble are delivered

When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence, and the humble person He will save. Job 22:29

The humble are exalted

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10

The humble are given wisdom

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverb 11:2

The humble are given honor

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverb 29:23

The humble are great in His kingdom

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

Humility is according to the very nature and character of Christ.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart – Matthew 11:29

If I truly desire to become molded and shaped more into His image, humility is to be sought after and treasured.

God's promises that proceed from humility

How He Is Calling

How He is Calling

I want to be used by God!!! I want His power working in me and through me to make a significant impact in His kingdom!

So often my prayer is that He will show me and impress upon my spirit what exactly it is that He is calling me to pour my time and energy into. What I can be doing and how can I be working for Him to make a genuine impact?

I’m in a season of transition right now. We have been living in Idaho now for a couple months so I’m still waiting to see exactly how the Lord will use me and my gifts to build up and edify our church body and community in our new home.

I would love to get involved with leading worship!

Right before we moved, I became a certified Bible Study leader for Precept Ministries. I would love to eventually lead a Bible study!

I also became an approved speaker for Stonecroft Ministries where I was able to speak at a couple different women’s events.

I would love for the Lord to use me in one of these areas!

I was reading in the book of John this morning and the Lord gave me a new revelation and application of a particular passage.

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19

Jesus did what He saw the Father doing – and so should I!!

walk as he walked

This is what I believe He wants me to be focusing on right now. Along with asking Him to reveal how He is calling me specifically, I can also be asking Him to open my eyes to the work He is already doing around me.

While I’m waiting for further instruction I can, like Jesus, be looking and watching to see how He is already working.

Here are some areas where I already see His hand moving:

  1. He is working in My family

He has and is doing some awesome things in the lives of my husband and my children – and myself! My ministry to my family is one of the greatest ways I can work for Him.

  1. He is working to grow other families

There are a few families at the church we’ve been attending who have or will be having a new baby. Helping them out by providing a meal or childcare for older children is a simple way that I can serve these families while they adjust to the blessing of a new baby.

  1. He is working in my neighborhood

Since the first day we moved here we began to see the Lord’s hand working in our neighborhood. We are fully confident that He has a purpose to use us to reach out and bless our neighbors. I am asking Him to help me remain aware of opportunities to bless them.

  1. He is working in the world

If you watch the news or check out Compassion International, World Vision, Samaritans Purse and many other Christian organizations ministering throughout the world, you can see that there is no doubt that God’s kingdom is moving. I may not be able to jump on a plane to do hands on ministry in some areas – but I can pray! Prayer is the best way that we can partner with Him! My kids and I have started taking a few minutes out of each day to pray for different people all over the world.

These are just a few areas He has opened my eyes to. His voice is always calling and His hand is always moving, so I believe He will show me other opportunities to get involved in His work.

Inspiring Our Children to Pray for the World

Over the past couple weeks I can hardly watch the news without it leaving tears in my eyes. Especially after seeing horrific images of the child refugees in Syria. It’s truly heartbreaking.

As I pray for these people, the Lord has been stirring in my heart the desire to inspire my children to pray for the world. To nurture their understanding of God’s love for people everywhere.

I want them to know that there are people in all nations, including our own, who desperately need the hope that the gospel provides. I want them to know that there are many needs that extend beyond what we see and experience out our front door.

I want them to begin to understand that there are people living in poverty and oppression that goes beyond our first world comprehension – and that they are living without hope and without God.

I want them to know that, although many of these people live on the opposite side of the world, prayer is a powerful way we can connect them to Him and to His kingdom.

I happened to stumble across a website this week called stand4kids.

Each day of the month has a picture of a child from another country along with his or her prayer request. My four year old daughter and I have begun praying for these children each day.

Here are two examples of prayer requests:

I live in Mexico. Like many families in poverty, mine can’t afford to send me to school. Pray that God will provide a way for me to get an education.

When I was only eight, I was kidnapped from my rural village and trafficked to another country. I am now 12 years old and I am a prostitute. I live in a brothel where I’m beaten and forced to do things I don’t like to do. I miss my family very much, but I can’t escape. Pray for me and other children forced into prostitution. Ask God to destroy this form of exploitation and degradation.

As you can see, some of the issues brought up are hard. Hard to the point where we may not want to share them with our young kids.

However, I personally want to talk with my children about the truth of what is really happening in our world. I want them to have some knowledge of what actually going on. Wisdom and discernment must be practiced when deciding what to share and how to share it – I want to raise their awareness without producing fear in them. But I also don’t want my fear of producing fear to keep me from talking with them about these truths of the world we live in.

It’s a delicate balance that I’m learning to find.

This morning my daughter came running into the kitchen to ask if we could pray for the “13 child” (the child for the 13th). She loves looking at the pictures of the children and the requests are worded simply which enables her to pray with understanding. It’s been awesome to see her eagerness.

Praying for children around world

This is proving to be a great resource to help young children see glimpses of God’s love and compassion for people all over the world  – and a great way for families to pray together.

I encourage you to check it out and consider if this would be a helpful tool for your family to use to pray for the world together. Stand 4 Kids

Another great resource for families with older children is Operation World.

Book Review: Secrets of a Prayer Warrior by Derek Prince

secrets of a prayer warriorFor a long time I assumed that the calling to be a prayer warrior was an assignment only given to some. That it was a gift given by the Holy Spirit just like any of the other spiritual gifts he distributes.

I’m not sure exactly how or why this idea took residence in my mind – but it did.

The greatest revelation I received from this book was that a prayer warrior is something that we, as His children, are all called to be. It’s a position that all of us can and should be eager to obtain.

So then – what are these secrets of a prayer warrior?

The big secret that Prince reveals about becoming a powerful prayer warrior is that there really is no secret! Becoming one is more about walking in truth that has already been given than discovering some secret that has been hidden.

The road to obtaining it has been fully disclosed. For many of us it’s just waiting to be realized.

In “Secrets of a Prayer Warrior” Prince leads us through the scriptures to show us how the key elements to a mighty, influential and effective prayer life have been unveiled and fully displayed within the Scriptures.

Without going into too much detail, here are the 8 basic conditions he describes for effective prayer. The quotes I included from Prince are those which resonated with me personally:

1. Come with reverent submission
“It says that Jesus was heard because of His reverent submission. This is the first condition for approaching God” – see Matthew 26:39,42

2. Have Faith
“Faith is an essential condition for approaching and being accepted by God. Anyone who comes to Him must believe. Furthermore, we are required to believe two things: that God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. – see Hebrews 11:6

3. Pray in the name of Jesus
“The blood of Christ is the visible, eternal evidence of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. When we come in the name of Jesus, we come in the merits of the blood that He shed on our behalf.” – see Ephesians 2:13

4. Approach God Boldly
“We have no righteousness of our own. We must come to a place where we are trusting in God’s faithfulness, and that produces confidence” – see 1 John 3:21-22, Romans 8:1

5. Have the right motive
“The right motive for praying is that the answer may bring glory to God. This is actually the right motive for all we do.” – see John 14:13

6. Forgive those who have hurt you
“You and I have no right to pray for deliverance til we have forgiven others as we would have God forgive us.” – see Mark 11:25

7. Be directed by the Holy Spirit
“The Spirit of God..takes over and makes intercession through you, praying according to the will of God” – see Romans 8:14, 26-27

8. Ask according to God’s Word
“The last condition is the greatest secret that clinches our life of prayer: We pray according to God’s will as revealed in His word.”
“God’s Word is packed with divine promises. The apostle Peter calls them “exceedingly great and precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4). And do you know what those promises are? The promises of God are the will of God.

This book also helped to shape my understanding of what it means for us to be a royal priesthood!

I knew that as priests, we have been given the honored privilege of offering gifts and spiritual sacrifices to the Lord. However, the word royal was something I hadn’t previously given much thought to.

To be royal means to rule, right?

So what does it mean for us to rule – here and now; in the earth for His kingdom?

“As people of a kingdom it is our responsibility to rule the world for God. Only when we learn to minister as priests can we do this. What kind of spiritual sacrifices does God expect us to offer? Just as Jesus offered up prayers and petitions during His life on earth, so should we. When we learn to pray, then we are qualified to rule.” – Derek Prince

DO YOU SENSE HIM CALLING YOU?

Is a desire beginning to break through to become a powerful and effective prayer warrior?

Let me encourage you to read this book – but even more than that let me encourage you to just start praying! Pray for deeper revelation of all this truth.

Trust me, as I encourage you I’m preaching to myself.

There is so much truth and tools to learn from this book and in these scriptures – some of them probably take a lifetime to apprehend. So let’s get started!

Blogger Recognition Award

bloggeraward

I just want to give a big thank-you hug to Jordan from the blog Call Me Incorrigible for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award!

(((Thanks, Jordan)))

If you haven’t already visited her site I would encourage you to do so! She is a creative writer and blogger that shares straight from her heart.

The Rules for The Blogger Recognition Award:

  1. Select fifteen other blogs you want to give the award to
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you
  3. Write a post to show your award
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  7. Attach the award to the post (right-click and save, then upload)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them
  9. Provide a link to the award post you created

Why I started “As For My House”

About a month ago, the Lord called my family to uproot our lives from our home town and move to Idaho. We have entered into a new, exciting season in which we have already seen His hand working in our lives. My desire for this blog is to share glimpses of our journey in this new place. To share the ways the Lord is using us to serve Him and each other – and hopefully inspire others to live for Him!

Some thoughts for new bloggers

I would say, my greatest advice to a new blogger would be to engage with the blogging community! I have met some amazing, talented people and made some great friendships. There are SO many amazing blogs and people behind them.

Here are just a few that I would like to nominate for this award:

Momma Daisy

tjustincomer

Me Too Moments for Moms

A Journey To Masterpiece

The Artistic Christian

Anorexia Revealed

Stumbling Into Grace

Unshakable Hope

Fearfully Made Mom

Redbird’s Roost

Reclaim the Faith

Guests are Family

Find the Lovely

Edmund Appiah

Don’t forget to share the love 🙂

Simple Ways to Show Love to Your Spouse

loving your spouse

You have maybe heard the concept of the 5 Love Languages. The book by Gary Chapman was extremely popular a few years ago.

If you haven’t, I would encourage you to check it out.

The basic idea says that every person feels and communicates love in one of five ways:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service

Many people have more than one, but Chapman’s theory suggests that there is one primary language that a person leans towards.

If you’re not sure what your love language is, take this quiz and it will tell you! Don’t worry, it’s not one of those cheesy Facebook quizzes that tells you which 80’s song best describes your life or which of your friends is most likely to get arrested 🙂

When I was first told about this concept I admit, I was skeptical. Now, after being married a few years I’m convinced that understanding my husband’s love language and learning to express it has been vital to supporting the health of our relationship.

My husband and I try to remember that how we individually feel loved is often the same way we instinctively speak it.

For example:

My husband’s love language is physical touch – mine is not. Yet I am learning to recognize those moments he expresses physical touch to me as him speaking love in his natural language.

My love language is words of affirmation – his is not. He also is learning to recognize this as my natural language of expressing love to him.

We have come to understand that we need to be intentional in showing love according to the others language. But we also want to be intentional in looking for those times the other is expressing love according to their language – and choose to also accept these moments as expressions of affection too.

I believe that the nurture and consistent tending of our marriage is one of the greatest ways we can serve our Lord.

Think about this…

Healthy marriages are the foundation to healthy families. Healthy families are an important foundation to a strong, united and effective church. An effective church is the foundation to the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

This is why the enemy loves attacking marriages. They are, in many ways, at the source of accomplishing much of the work God is performing in and through us.

So, here are some of my ideas how you can speak love to your spouse according to their language.

I hope what this does is inspire you to consider ways you can intentionally show love to your husband or wife. I hope it inspires you to regularly tend and cultivate your marriage and do your part to keep it strong for Him.

SIMPLE WAYS TO SHOW LOVE TO YOUR SPOUSE

Words of Affirmation

  1. Say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work they do – either in the home or at their job.
  2. Say ‘thank you’ for some simple, daily thing they do for you.
  3. Compliment them on something they do well – in front of others!
  4. Have you seen an area of maturity or growth in their life? Affirm and confirm it by telling them that you notice.

Quality Time

  1. Put your phone, ipad or computer away and spend an entire, undistracted evening together.
  2. Take them on a date to their favorite restaurant.
  3. Spend some time together doing something they like to do.
  4. Ask them questions to spark meaningful conversation.

Physical Touch

  1. Grab their hand and hold on as you walk down the grocery store isle.
  2. Put your arm around them as you’re sitting together in church.
  3. Offer to give them a massage.
  4. Gently place your hand on their shoulder or back as a sign of affection.

Receiving Gift

  1. Come home with concert tickets to their favorite band or game tickets for their favorite team.
  2. Surprise them at work with a drink from their favorite coffee shop.
  3. Buy or make a CD of their favorite songs and put in their car.
  4. Instead of buying something for a birthday or holiday, make them something.

Acts of Service

  1. Ask what you can do to help them!!
  2. Is there a certain chore around the house that is their responsibility? Do it for them.
  3. Clean out and vacuum their car.
  4. Get the kids up, dressed and fed while they sleep in.

simple ways to love your spouse

 

We Are All Called To Ministry

called to ministry

My family and I attended a church for the second time this past Sunday. Their youth group had just returned from their summer missions trip. A few of the students were sharing testimonies. I was amazed by some of the wisdom pouring out of the mouths of these young people! Such a blessing to witness!

One of them, a boy about 16, shared how it was during this trip that the Lord confirmed that He was ‘calling him to ministry’. When he said this the people in the congregation assumed it meant he was feeling led to become a pastor.

Now, before I go any farther, I just want to say how incredibly awesome it is to see this high school student’s desire to live his life in service to our God. That he is seeking God’s will for his life, discovering his gifts and how the Lord wants him to use them ~ and he has the confidence to stand in front of his church and his peers and confess it!

What I hope he understands is that he does not need to hold the office of “Pastor” to be in ministry! That calling happened the moment he gave his heart and life to Jesus.

In my opinion, it appears this is a mindset in which some of today’s church is living. First, in order to be ministers of the gospel we must first receive some formal qualification or recognition. Second, that ministry only happens within the walls of our church buildings.

My dear friend, this could not be farther from the truth.

We are His ambassadors! 2 Corinth 5:20

We have all been given the ministry of reconciliation! 2 Corinth 5:11-21

When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, that moment when we became citizens of His kingdom and received the Holy Spirit we were given spiritual gifts (1 Corinth 12) ~ that is the moment we became qualified and called to the ministry!! And for many of us, most of it takes place outside the four walls of our church.

If we think of people in the Bible who were called to minister the gospel, probably one of the first people we think of is Paul. Very little of Paul’s ministry was confined to the temple walls. In fact, much of it happened while behind iron bars (Phil 1:12-26).

So I hope this young man, feeling called to the ministry, realizes that he can be a minister and a pastor ~ at his school, on the football or baseball team, hanging out with his friends at the mall. It’s not something he has to wait for. His calling is now!

The same is true for you and I. Because we have the Holy Spirit and His kingdom dwelling within us, and because we have the commandment to go into all the world to make disciples of nations ~ we have officially been called and qualified for ministry.

Are you are a stay-at-home mom or dad? You are called to be a minister in your home and in your neighborhood.

Are you a working father or mother? You are called to be a minister in your home and at your workplace.

Do you work in real estate? You are called to be a minister to your clients.

Are you a student? You are called to be a minister in your school.

Are you a song-writer? You are called to be a minister through your music.

Are you a blogger? You are called to be a minister to your readers 🙂

I believe ministry is a lifestyle that He desires we all walk in.

LETS HAVE A CONVERSATION!!

Any thoughts?

Were you encouraged in any way by this post? Are you considering how you can be
a minister of the gospel in your everyday life?

Please encourage me by sharing it in the comment section!

I’d love to hear from you!