By Gerry Wakeland
October is Clergy Appreciation Month here in the United States. It’s a time when we pause to say “thank you” to our pastors and church leaders. Perhaps you have already given your pastor a note or a card, maybe even a small gift. Every one of those gestures are sincerely appreciated.
No one other than a pastor’s wife or children know the demands made of our leaders. They are available to the flock 24/7 ready to pray with us, cry with us, counsel us and sometimes rescue us. They even go to sporting events to cheer our children on. They make great sacrifices to fulfill the call God has placed on their lives. It seems only fitting that one out of 12 months of the year we would pause and express our gratitude for these sacrifices.
Wait…we only have to be grateful for our pastors one month out of the year? That’s not even a tithe. It seems a little unbalanced when we think of all they give each and every day. They don’t ask for anything in return. They give out of love and obedience.
There must be something that we can do on a more regular basis. Of course there is.
We can pray.
I am reminded of the words in Matthew 26:40, “Couldn’t you keep watch with me one hour?” All Jesus asked of His disciples was one hour of prayer.
Recently I heard someone say this, “Time is more valuable to me than money.” It made me stop and think. I came to the conclusion that maybe he was right. We live in a fast-paced society with many demands on our time. Are we willing to sacrifice sixty minutes a day in prayer? Are we willing to spend a portion of that time praying for our pastors and the needs of our church when we have so many prayer requests of our own?
There are those in our church who have made a commitment to pray for our pastors, our church and its leadership every day. At least one has taken that commitment one step further. Every morning at approximately 7:30 he makes his way to the steps of AFBC and kneels to pray. Would you be willing to join him?
Maybe morning is not the best time for you. Can you stop in on your way home from work? When you’re out running errands? What if you picked up your kids at school and all of you came by to pray? If you’re coming to the church for a meeting or a Bible study could you come a little early and stop to pray on the steps.
Many of us pass by our church at least once, if not several times a day. Could you, would you, take the time to stop and pray? It might be the greatest gift you could give our pastors.
I’ll meet you on the steps.