Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can't quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! Col 1:3 (MSG)
One of the spiritual disciplines I adopted early on as a pastor was the practice of praying for each member of the congregation by name. When I spent everyday here at the church, I'd often go into the sanctuary and pray for individuals as I sat in the pew where they most often sat on Sunday. I'd review where God had led them and blessed them, and where they found themselves at the time of my prayers. Now I work most of the time from home, but thanks to our pictorial directory I am able to look at the images and focus on those God has placed in my spiritual care. I still work through a pattern of remembering their journey with Jesus and what they were experiencing now.
Over the years, though there have been times when different individuals and I might differ over specific decisions I had made or even the direction of the church in general, I seem to find myself ending my prayers for them most often as Paul did here in his letter to Collosae. For almost every one has contributed in some way, whether great or small, to God's work here at New Hope. The vast majority of the people I've known and loved as their pastor have been such a tremendous blessing to me that I find myself telling God just what a joy it has been to serve Him alongside them.
Knowing what is going on (and what has gone on) in people's lives could diminish your ability to love them. But knowing just how much God loves them, and seeing Him at work in, around, and in most cases through them over the years is such a rich, rich gift that I typically end my prayers for them with praise for the God Who sent me to them over ten years ago as their pastor.
New Hope family, I love you and thank God everytime I think about you.
Have an awesome Thanksgiving.
Grace and peace to you and yours,
Posted by David Wilson at 4:15 PM