Faith is the foundation of everything we do. God, Church, Bible and Life- the quality and reality of each is determined by the spirit of faith we embrace. Surely, if a Pastor is going to lead people in spiritual things, he or she must have strong faith.
We get saved by faith, baptized in water by faith, and baptized in the Holy Spirit. We come to church by faith. We receive communion by faith. We pray for the sick in faith. We give our tithes and offerings by faith. We read the Word and grow in faith. The just live by it! And the Pastor must minister with it. There is no substitute!
Faith is expressed in our attitude.
Faith is expressed in our confession and our words.
Faith is expressed in a spirit of hope.
Faith is demonstrated by our actions.
If the Pastor doesn’t have strong faith, what hope is there for the believer, the disciple, the follower, and the congregation? Either they decide to acquiesce to a substandard life of unbelief also, or they leave our church and go on a search for a man or woman of faith and a place where their faith can grow.
Every Minister must believe in who he or she is in Christ. We must have strong faith in what God’s Word says about us.
3 “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4 (NKJV)
The early church apostles found themselves overwhelmed in trying to meet all the needs of the exploding first century church. They agreed to appoint servants who would address the natural and financial needs of the people, while they would give themselves to two top priorities.
The first was to give themselves to prayer.
The second was the ministry or study of the Word.
I wonder how many modern day pastors are still waiting on tables instead of feeding the people with the revelation found only in the diligent study of God’s Word, bathed in the atmosphere of prayer and the presence of God?
If we want our churches to grow, we must pray and study God’s Word. We must wait upon the Lord. We must make supplication and intercession and trust God to work for us as we partner together with Him in ministry.
Different Levels of Prayer
Prayer should happen on several levels:
- Daily private prayer (alone and in private)
- Regular prayer of agreement (usually with spouse)
- Prayer with family (children, etc.)
- Prayer with Leaders, staff or key people in Church
- Church prayer (corporate gatherings)
- Special Intercession (small groups, key leaders)
- Days of prayer and fasting (calling the church to special prayer)
- Pulpit prayer (leading the congregation in special prayer)
- Apostolic prayer (praying for other churches and ministries)
Many pastors lead their church in prayer and believe they have a prayer life. But prayer in church is only output. Every minister needs input – private prayer. Public prayer is ministry that flows through and out of us. Private prayer is grace flowing into us and filling us up with fresh grace and anointing.
Grace and Faith
Every believer (minister or member) needs two things, grace and faith.
Grace comes when we approach the throne of grace and receive grace and mercy to help us when we need it.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
We don’t get faith by praying and we don’t get grace by hearing the Word. While they certainly overlap- God has a distinct place to receive each of them. Every Pastor I have every met needs great grace to lead the church. We can go get it- more each day- from the Throne- the place where it is dispensed- the Source- the universe’s distribution center of grace. On our knees, in the prayer closet, in the secret place where we meet with the Father- this is where we find what we need to do ministry.
Prayer for a Stronger Prayer Life
Forgive me for not waiting on you more and for my sometimes weak prayer life. I love you and thank you for counting me faithful and putting me into the ministry. I am asking for greater grace and more help to do your work.
Please impart the grace and strength I need to do what You have called me to do. Help me Lord. And renew my relationship with You on every level. I commit myself to daily prayer.
In the Name of Jesus,
– Pastor Wendell Smith