Do you remember when Jesus spoke to Simon Peter and said, "Simon, Simon, Satan demands to have you, to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:31-32)? Jesus became an intercessor on Simon's behalf.
Who intercedes for you? For whom do you intercede? Someone has said, "Praying for others is one of the best ways of loving people." I agree. When we pray for others, and others pray for us, several things happen:
The prayer of the intercessor cannot be restrained from the palaces of kings, the hovels of the poor, the homes of pastors or the habitat of a troubled teen. Intercessory prayer can penetrate even the most formidable strongholds of pain, sickness, discouragement and challenge.
I wonder why, with all of this power at our disposal, we do not pray more or seek to encourage others to pray for us. Paul wrote to Timothy, "I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone" (1 Timothy 2:1). And the prophet Samuel said, "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (1 Samuel 12:23).
Of course, there are times when we feel frustrated in prayer. We are only human. But we should never deny that the prayer of the intercessor is powerful and projects faith and love. The Psalmist says, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him" (Psalm 37:7). We must never doubt God's timing.
Picture two rooms separated by a wall. In one room, there is a person in need and, in the next, there is God. As an intercessor in the hallway, you can see each of them. The wall might be sin, unbelief, sickness, a spirit of bitterness or even discouragement. But you, the intercessor, can literally reach around the wall, taking the hand of God and the hand of man and putting them together. That is why the great men and women of prayer say the prayer of intercession is the greatest of all prayers.
Who prays for you, my friend? I have a colleague who prays for me every day by name. I am blessed. What an awesome gift God has granted me.
I love you, pastor. I pray for you. I value you more than you will ever know. Like Peter, Satan wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail.
Both spouses have jobs in more than half of ministry homes. How can they keep their lives in balance? In most ministry couples, it is the minister's spouse who is asked to be flexible. But more often, it is easier for the minister to adjust his schedule.
The marriages and families of too many pastors are falling by the wayside. Pastor Gary Kinnaman has developed a strategy that can hold them together.
The issue is not so much whether we will become lonely. That is a given. It happens to us all. The real question is what do we do when we are lonely?