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“When a leader prays for those they serve, serve alongside, and lead they are inviting God into their relationships and processes.”

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:1-6

With the press of task lists and action steps that every leader must balance in the precious hours of his or her day, prayer often takes a back seat to the “high priority” items on our agenda.  When we look at leadership from God’s perspective, we realize neglecting prayer is failing to invite God into the relationships and processes we lead.  For this reason, Paul urges Timothy to make “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving for all people.”

Paul specifically identifies “kings and all who are in high positions” as people needing prayer.  Interestingly, Paul felt it necessary to make sure that we pray for those who have authority over us and not just those we lead.  Imagine the difference it could make if prayer resounded in the heart of every Christian leader for those who lead our nation, our businesses, and our churches. 

It is important to note that prayer must be combined with a life well-lived.  The characteristics mentioned here are peaceful, quiet, godly, and dignified.  It is entirely possible to hinder our own prayers through a life lived apart God’s design and desire.  When we mix a life well-lived and prayer the result is pleasing to the heart of God. (v.3)

Verses 4-6 wrap up a leaders responsibility to pray by high-lighting the greatest aim our prayers should be directed toward.  God desires all persons to be saved. (v.4)  He has given His very life so that the door would be open to anyone who would call upon Him for salvation.  To this end we not only labor, but we pray.  Prayer for those who we serve and who we lead should have a Gospel-focus.  We match the heart of God when we pray for the salvation of others.  This kind of prayer should be the common practice of those who are entrusted with God’s call to lead.

Family of Faith

You may have heard your pastor or church leader use the phrase “family of faith”.  The saying is common in today’s church culture.  For some, it is a marketing strategy to make a congregation seem warm and fuzzy for potential church attendees.  For others, it is lip-service to caring about others without actually having to do it.  To be honest, I never really understood what a “family of faith” could be until Beth and I found out we were expecting our first child.

Immediately our church sprung into action providing helpful advice and meeting the practical needs becoming a new parent entails.  There were days leading up to our son’s birth when we were overwhelmed by the kindness of our church.  Soon after Caleb was born, there was a long line of people who brought meals and checked in on our new family of three.  Now that it has been several weeks, the offers are coming in from older couples in our church to babysit while Beth and I get away for a date.

Moving our family to a place hundreds of miles away from our parents and family members was heavy on our hearts when we moved to Virginia.  We stepped into the great unknown apart from the relatives that had guided us along life’s twisting and turning pathway.  We were concerned to say the least.  In these past weeks and months we have seen many of these fears melt away as we realized how much like family a church can become.

The church is God’s primary means for reaching people with the Gospel and making disciples.  It is also His primary function for caring for believers on this side of heaven.  Consider how you might help another church member out.  Prayer and practical help mix together in a wonderful demonstration of caring for others in your congregation.  As we lend helping hands and open arms to those in our church fellowship we learn the joy of becoming a “family of faith”.  I have experienced it first hand and look forward to returning the favor in the days, weeks, and months to come at our church home.

Residing in Love

Keep yourself in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  Jude 21

Our best friends thought they were ready for a change.  They had lived in the same place for the entire time that they had been married.  Restlessness seemed to penetrate their day to day life.  Finally, they made the decision to move.  Not across town or outside the city.  They packed up their cars and moved to a new city and state.

At first, the move was filled with adventure and the excitement of being in the unknown.  Soon, however, they began to feel lonely.  The friends and family that had been so close was now a 12 hour drive away.  Though they tried to fit into their new community, their neighbors and co-workers didn’t seem to share their values or perspective on life.  Our friends were homesick.

Many Christians often think, “What if I was to move on from God?”  Maybe you’ve been gone for a while.  Maybe you’ve been considering a change.    The choice is yours to make.  Just remember, when you choose anything other than God, you are choosing to step outside His love.  Though the world can be so attractive it can never compare with amazing love of God.  This is why Jude tells us that we should “keep ourselves in the love of God” and not depart to other ways of life.  As for our friends, they realized the move was a mistake.  They moved back shortly after leaving and rediscovered the love that they had always known.