The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Our son Noah offered the greatest prayer request I have ever been privileged to hear.
Just before leaving to serve in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps many years ago, I asked Noah how we should pray for he and his fellow Marines. He answered short and to the point: "That we will fulfill our mission." Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. He requested no prayers for protection or provision, although many of those were certainly offered by those who love Noah. As has always been the case in his military and law enforcement careers, when Noah dons his uniform, he adorns his heart with the seriousness of what God has called him to do. He takes after both his Lord and his mother in this regard.
I share this with you because I think it provides insight into how to pray for pastors, preachers, and those called to communicate the Word of God. The pastor, preacher, or evangelist worth his spiritual salt will join Noah in viewing as negligible or peripheral any prayers that do not concern their mission. Of course, we know that people pray about other matters, and appreciate that. However, with the genuine calling to communicate truth comes a narrowed focus of emphasis. The mission matters more, it matters most, and at the end of the day, it matters only. As the Roman soldier responded when asked if he feared the death that might come as he was sent to battle: "It is necessary that I go. It is not necessary that I live."
What is the mission of the preacher (and actually, of every believer)? That we will join the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and faithfully reveal His Person and work as God's redeeming purpose and hope (John 16:14; 15:26-27). Pray this for your pastor, and as God answers, you can be sure that all else will fall into place. Of course, we may certainly address other matters as we offer our requests. However, as a friend often shares, we must "keep the first thing the first thing, and the main thing the main thing" (thanks, Larry!).
Noah and his men fulfilled their mission, at the cost of a life (Sgt. Foster Harrington), and by many other sacrifices they don't and won't mention. God answered prayers for men faithful to their nation and their duty. I never think about this without remembering Noah's prayer request, and without desiring to follow his example regarding my own calling. The glory and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ - this is the mission. Other things matter, but they pale in comparison to that stated best by the Apostle Paul…
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Weekly Memory Verse
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.