October 27, 2014

Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Joy

"Joy is a divine dimension of living not shackled by circumstances." W. Phillip Keller

Dear Lord,
Thank you for giving good spiritual gifts, like joy, to your people. May the pastor's wife have joy in abundance this week.

If she is unhappy today because she feels unappreciated in the church or is criticized by one of its members, help her to see that happiness is fleeting and depends on the world around her. Instead, let her seek the joy that comes from you and lasts forever.

When she is very busy with ministry and other responsibilities, don't let her forget about you. Prompt her to spend time in the Word and to pray. Cause her to know the path of life. Please show this woman that in your presence there is fullness of joy. Remember your promise to make her most blessed forever.

As she encounters neighbors and co-workers who are negative about life because they don't know you, help her to take joy in the God and rock of her salvation. If this woman is tempted to imitate others in dealing with personal pain by sinful behavior, please restore to her the joy of her salvation and hold her up. Use her witness to point her non-Christian friends and relatives to you; allow her to shout for joy over their salvation.

If this woman is struggling with lack of spiritual maturity in the congregation or trying hard to love a rebellious daughter or barely making ends meet with her husband's salary, encourage her heart with joy. Holy Spirit, remind her that you are with her in various trials and will perfect her faith through them. Lord, please guide her through this momentary affliction. Bring to her mind this verse, "For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning."

In Jesus' name,

The photo and quote are from A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit.
You may also like Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Love.   

October 20, 2014

Pray for the Pastor's Wife: Love

“Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13).

A pastor’s wife has plenty of people to love. She has her husband, and perhaps children. She may have parents or siblings. She’s got friends from her past, friends in her community, friends online. She may have co-workers or bosses. And she’s got the church.

The church is certainly a unit (the Bible calls it a vine and a building and a body) but it is not homogenous or generic—lovable in some abstract way. The church is a gathering of unique individuals, with unique needs and gifts and personalities. Christ laid down his life for each one, and so, too, the pastor’s wife willingly lays down her own priorities and time and preferences for the good of the individuals in her church.

In short, she loves them.

Recently, someone told me the story of a pastor’s wife on the foreign mission field in a place made chaotic by strife between people-groups. When Christians back in the United States asked how they could pray for her, she replied, “Pray that I would not have contempt for the people I am serving.”

Most pastor’s wives won’t have the experience of church members fighting to the death over territory, but each pastor’s wife will encounter individuals she finds it difficult to love. Pray that, in the strength of Christ, she will.

I have a friend who frequently asks me , "Would you pray that I could be what my husband and kids need?" Every time she asks, I am freshly astounded by her humility and love. She is a very gifted woman who would have much to offer her family. She understands the Scriptures, the human body, and children better than almost anyone I know. But she doesn’t insist on always using those gifts. Instead, she is willing to be molded to exactly what her family needs, even if it’s dish-duty. This kind of self-giving, other-serving love is exactly what I’d like to have more of.

I pray for myself, and ask that my church would pray with me, that I would “abound in love” (I Thess. 3:12).
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