A Pastor’s Prayer

I remember the day God called me to serve Him by serving His people.  I was 16 and I was sitting in my room reading and I heard someone call my name, but there was no one around.  I thought one of my sisters was playing a trick on me and I went looking to see where they were hiding – but no one was there.  This happened two more times when I had a déjà vu moment – wait this was the whole Samuel story.  So I stopped and said, “God is that You.”   Turned out it was and on that day God told me He had a plan for my life that involved serving Him by serving His people.  Took me a few years to say yes but ultimately I did.

 

Flash forward seven years and I am getting ready to graduate from Bible College and God spoke to me through a prophet named Bob Laflin and said, “Gary you will not return to the islands, but God has set aside a group of people that you will minister to here.”  In that moment I saw the faces of people flashing across my mind – in the 30 years since I have seen many of those faces come through our ministry.  That was my calling.

 

Thank you for walking with me in the last few weeks as I contemplate and process 30 years of pastoring at DSC.  Today I want to share the last of the three things I feel deeply about that Paul talks about in 2 Thessalonians 1. I resonate with these three areas that Pastor Paul mentions.

 

A Pastors Encouragement.

A Pastor’s Concern.

And closely related to a Pastors Concern is a Pastor’s prayer…

 

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT2)So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.  Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

I have a picture of the people I shepherd as being my daughter and one day I am going to get the honor and privilege to walk her down the aisle and entrust her to her bridegroom.  Paul tells us that the church is the bride and Jesus is the groom, the shepherds are the ones who are preparing the bride for the day when she and her groom will be wed.  My responsibility is to ensure she is ready for the groom – that is all at once a great honor and an overwhelming responsibility. 

My prayer for those I lead is that they will live a life worthy of the calling of God.  

That God would say they are living in a way that lives up to what He has called us to.  

 

I am praying that the people I lead will flourish in their faith and obedience and that they will understand the power that they have through the Holy Spirit to accomplish all that God asks of us, no matter how impossible it may seem. 

I pray that they will love God more than they love this world and the things that tempt them to forsake their love for Him.

I pray that the people I lead will live lives that honor Jesus and not just live for their wants and desires and that they will know how much they are loved by God and by me.

 

It has been a labor of love and a deep honor to Pastor every single one of you over the last 30 years, but the reality is I too want to live a life worthy of the calling of God on me.