Praying for Churches and Pastors

Recently, the following words of D. A. Carson gripped my heart, which are all too painfully true in our churches:

Many in this generation attend church to find peace and happiness, not pardon and holiness. They want to be fulfilled, not discover how Christ is the fulfillment of earlier revelation. They prefer entertainment to worship, oratory to truth, and programs to piety. If such people exercise a dominant voice in a church whose leaders earnestly seek to be faithful to Scripture, the leaders are in for a rough time. We need to pray that God will send us undershepherds who are wise, spiritual, godly, disciplined, informed, prayerful, faithful to Scripture. But we also need to pray that their ministry will be acceptable to the saints. It is an enormous tragedy when there are too few faithful, anointed, visionary leaders; it is a terrible indictment on the church when those the Lord sends are treated like dirt. These things happen, and frequently. Perhaps they would not happen so often if more of us prayed that God would make the ministry of his most faithful and spiritually minded leaders widely acceptable among the saints [A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 218-19].

There are a number of things that stand out (some are screaming out) in those words that need some serious considerations. When you are reading this, go back and read those words of Dr. Carson once again, and see if you can exegete some of them. More importantly, ask yourself what are you going to do differently from now on. Perhaps, this is where you need to seek the Lord. Again, consider those words. A person who can’t examine his/her life is not worth living.

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