Tag Archives: God’s Heart for Us

Caring for Our Ministry Leaders

Remember to lift your pastors, worship team/leaders and intercessors, as well as other leaders and ministry givers up in prayer often. Pray the Word of God over them and their families. Pray rest and refreshing. Pray for protection and His love.

Remember to help pour into them by firstly leaning on the Lord, using in your giftings, serving faithfully, guarding your heart, and seeking to be a joyful encouragement to them, trusting the Lord through even the times you need ministering to. God will reward you so much as you consider the leaders and others He has put in your life. As you regard them with great kindness and consideration and honor, you are sowing for your own reward to be loved this way.

As a member of a small congregation, I love to be able to help my pastors by leaning on God and not going to them for every single thing. I want to get ministry if I need it for sure, but I want to learn to lean on Jesus as my first and foremost above all. I love to be able to pour prayer into those precious leaders God has brought into my life, like Jonathan to David perhaps. This may occur in the Secret Place and/or in person for them and others who give of themselves to minister in prayer, prophesy and deliverance.

I want not to place any weight upon their shoulders, but actually to help bear their burdens as the Word says we are to bear one another’s burdens. One of my biggest desires is to help my leaders carry those tasks of ministry so that they can be freed up to do all that God desires to use them to do, and most especially to be able to put ministry to Him and their families first.

This is actually what the Bible calls helps ministry, and I think we all have a part in it in some way, even if only through prayer for some. Sometimes this means that I set my own needs aside and allow them to go home or be ministered to themselves (whether through myself or another). Other times it means cleaning the building or going to the store right before a service upon realizing a need for some important item for the service or building, or perhaps simply using my own God-given gift to sing God’s heart over them or praying for them.

You can see how each one of us has a part to play in helping to do the work of ministry so that the Body of Christ can function beautifully – even by pouring into those who so sacrificially pour into us! How has the Lord used this post to inspire you to care for your pastors and leaders? What are you already doing to help hold up their arms in the Body of Christ?

Prayer Is Conversation: Growing in Intimacy with God

Prayer is a simple concept, but we tend toward making it complicated when we walk it out. We may even wonder if we are doing it right! In this post, I want to bring us back to the simplicity of prayer, and introduce prayer as a primary way to grow in intimacy with God.

Prayer, simply put, is communion with God. Prayer is often expressed as having conversation with Jesus and loving on Him. It is a time of focused attention on Him, talking to Him and pausing to listen as He speaks to us.

It is most beneficial to set aside daily appointments of uninterrupted time with God to grow in intimacy with Him. This forms a foundation for connecting with God throughout our day and in all we do. As we introduce conversation with God into our devotional time with Him, we will more easily begin to talk with Him throughout our day as well.

The practical ideas below can be used to grow your prayer life during both daily appointments with God and by talking with Him throughout your day.

Short, Simple Phrases

Just saying “I love You” to the Lord is a valid form of prayer. Spending a few seconds several times a day, we can connect with God more simply by telling Him how we feel about Him.

Try This

Whether in your quiet time, during a worship service, or even throughout your daily activities, pause to speak to God in short phrases of 5-10 second prayers; then pause to allow Him to respond back to you. You want a two-way conversation, not a speech from you to Jesus.

Conversation with God builds our connection with Him, helping us learn to connect with Him no matter where we are or what we’re doing.

Example: As you spend alone time with Jesus, tell Him, “I love You, Lord. Thank You for Your love for me. I am so grateful for You in giving Your life for me.” Pause for a moment. Then go deeper, asking Him to show you His love even more, allowing You to feel what He feels or to know His thoughts toward you. Again leave room for Him to respond to you. Ask His Spirit to show you how He loves you.

Some simple phrases you could also start with:

“Show me how You feel about me/a friend/this situation”
“Give me Your eyes to see”
“Make me more aware of Your presence”
“I choose to trust You”
“You are beautiful”
“Teach me Your ways”
“Remove all that hinders me from knowing Your love and showing it to others”

Devotional prayer is one way we abide in Christ (see John 15). I pray this instruction helps you grow even closer in your relationship with God. Feel free to share comments or ask questions.

The Root of All Our Longing and Wanting

Chai latte in hand, I strolled through our local bookstore, browsing the titles and beauty of books, journals and stationary. I recalled the former days when I was drawn to the bookstore like a moth to a lighted lamp nearby.

I would longingly look at the books, not realizing that the longing I felt would not be fully satisfied by just simply reading about God and His ways. Even when I found another good book, my yearning was not for knowledge, but for a deeper relationship with Jesus and to encounter His love, truth and beauty.

Words and pictures can help lead us and even stir up the flame of love in our hearts, but they cannot fully satisfy. It took me a while to realize that my desire to feel satisfied was what drew me to the bookstore. I love to write and to read, but I discovered that yearning for more of God was the only answer to my soul’s longing.

Many of us have things in our lives that we turn to during those times when we feel a little more empty inside than usual. For me, browsing the books was one of those activities.

God does speak to us in many ways, such as through a beautiful sunset, art, words and even titles of books, but these things cannot replace pure fellowship with Him and the way this connection satisfies our hearts.

Even still, my spirit fluttered today when Jesus spoke to my heart as I browsed, reminding me of all He’s been teaching me. First and foremost, it is my Father God who I need and long for deeper communion with.

All of our longings point to Him. The ultimate root of every desire is our need for God and through close-knit moments spent with in His presence. If we will allow God a moment to shed light on this truth, we will find it always true. He uses the beauty of nature, relationships with others, the hobbies we enjoy, and much more; but ultimately, without Him, these things leave us still unsatisfied, for only He can satisfy us completely.

We must learn to cultivate an awareness of His presence with us in every moment and yet also set aside focused time to have conversation with Him and encounter Him in His Word. (Brother Lawrence, who wrote a short and very excellent book on the subject, called this “Practicing the Presence of God”, which is also the book’s title).

[A Note of Clarification: We must come to the Father through His Son, Jesus. This truth holds together all that I write: I am a Christian. I believe Jesus is the only way to the Father; Christ’s sacrifice, believing He is the Son of God and making Him Lord of our lives. Salvation is not on our terms, but His; nonetheless, He is no forceful tyrant, He is Love and He tells us that He will not go against our free choice, but we must choose Him.) For starters, see Romans 10:9-11, John 14:6, Matthew 22:37-39.]

Intimacy is an every day, every moment endeavor. Just as in other relationships, such as that of a husband and wife, it comes in grand moments of love and life shared in the big, and it comes in the tiny droplets of joy shared in a momentary glance or smile. It comes as we give love through a gesture of kindness and service to another, and also comes as we support one another in times of trial and hardship.

This too is how I think God longs for us to live–walking through life always connected to Him, and I long to live this out. To walk through each day with joy instead of stress, gratefulness instead of fear, and meekness instead of frustration… and above all, to be intimately connected to God in every moment of every day and night.

I want to be so aware of Father God that I am filled with His love and the knowing of His presence dwelling in me by His Holy Spirit. I want to be “devoured” by the One who loves me so immensely that even through eternity I will never fully comprehend Love’s depths. I want to get lost in Christ so fully that I think nothing of myself and all of Him and what is on His mind and feeling what is on His heart. “More of Him, less of me” (John 3:30).

Father God, however possible this is on this side of eternity, please bring me to this place with You.

For Christ is all, and in all… and by Him and for Him and through Him all was made, and in Him all things consist and are held together. Jesus is THE Way, the ONLY Way! May He have the preeminence – it’s all about Him! Loving Him and knowing Him! (See John 14:6, Colossians 1:16-17).