The following article was written for our congregation, to be placed in our bulletin this coming Sunday. If you are not a mamber of PRBC, maybe it will help you pray for your pastor and family next time they are away. And if you are the pastor yourself...pray these things for yourself...and make your own list for your people! And if you are reading this blog, then by all means, pray for Tobey and I. Here's the article, to be published this Sunday at our church...
As you know, Tobey, the kids, and I are halfway through our fall vacation. As you read this (Lord willing), we are preparing to attend church in Memphis. We are praying for you today…and trust that you are praying for us, too. I thought it might be helpful for you to have a few ideas of specific ways you can pray for us while we’re down south…
1. Pray that we will get real rest—physical and spiritual. We need both. Tobey and the kids have been battling colds this month…and I have been looking forward to going out of the harness for a while—getting the chance to hear others preach; and to reading the Bible simply for my own soul’s sake. So, pray that we’ll come back refreshed and re-energized in every way.
2. Pray that we will have good devotional times while away. This is a bit of a sub-point to #1. But I let it stand alone because it is such a need. For Tobey and I, vacation times often seem to be the times when we let our own personal devotions—and our family worship times—slip a bit. When visiting people and staying in their homes, you’re never really alone. So we need to be extra careful to make sure we make time alone for God.
3. Pray that we would have good church experiences on Sunday. Some of you have heard me bemoan the fact that, when we go on vacation, we never can seem to end up in a church service where the Bible is preached and we are edified. I know the churches are out there…we just keep missing them! So pray that this trip will be different. Pray that some pastor (who doesn’t even know us) will have a word from the Lord for us this morning.
4. Pray for our times of Christian fellowship. One of the reasons we are making this trip is to spend time with some dear Christian friends. Pray that our times with these different families would be mutually encouraging; that the conversation would be about Christ; and that we would grow as we observe the example of these godly people.
5. Pray for our testimony. Another reason we are making this trip is to spend some time with friends and family who do not yet know Jesus. Please, please pray that we would let our light so shine before men that they would see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven. Pray that we might have opportunities to speak much and well about Jesus. Pray that the seeds we plant this week might someday spring up to eternal life in some of these loved ones.
6. Pray that we would earnestly pray for you. Pastors go on vacation, but they do not stop being pastors. The flock at Pleasant Ridge is still my responsibility before the Lord whether I’m off duty or on. And the main way I need to defend and shepherd you while I am away is to keep up my normal routine of praying for you all by name. As we drive around, I should have plenty of free time to do just that. Pray that I would redeem that time by wrestling with God on your behalf in prayer.
Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us this time away…and for praying for us.
PS - For those 2 or 3 of you who actually read this blog...note that, since I am away, the blog will be dark for a few days. I'll be back at it in early December.