The two phrases, “Please pray for me.” And “I sure will,” must be two of the most spoken and least completed phrases in the Christian faith. We say it but don’t much do it.
With that as background let me say to you, “Please pray for me.” (And pray for all the elders and all the staff at CBC.) Then you may ask, “Why, Dave? You seem to be doing fine. Did something happen?” “Did you do something wrong?” “Have you been diagnosed with something bad?” The answer is, “As far as I know I am doing fine and nothing has happened. I have not done anything to disqualify me from ministry and I have not been diagnosed with anything life threatening.” However, I want to give you some reasons to pray for me and for the other pastors, the elders, the team leaders, and all the believers at CBC.
Pray for me. I haven’t had a heart attack, but I could. If I did, it might well be the end of my ministry and the end of my life and the beginning of a difficult life for Kathi. Pray for me. I haven’t embezzled any money, but I could. If I did, the ugly consequences would batter people in four different time zones. Pray for me. I haven’t given up and decided to go into insurance sales, but I could. If I did, it would be turning my back on my calling. Pray for me. I haven’t had an angry person tell a big lie about me, but I could. If that did happen, it could mean the end of my ministry and the beginning of my bitterness. Pray for me. I haven’t started coasting and doing the bare minimum to get by in my ministry, but I could. If I did, it would be the beginning of a long, hard discouragement for my family and for all my ministry partners. Pray for me. I haven’t committed adultery, but I could. If I did, it would devastate my wife, my children, my son-in-law, my daughter-in-law, my grandchildren, my friends, my fellow believers at CBC, the testimony of CBC, and countless other people. Pray for me. I haven’t hit a child with my car, but I could. If I did, it would cause untold sadness to the child, his family, and me as well. Pray for me. I haven’t started using pornography, but I could. If I did, it would dishonor my God, harm my marriage, and destroy my ministry. Pray for me. I haven’t become addicted to alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or drugs, but I could. If I did, the effects would be widespread and extremely negative. Pray for me. I haven’t descended into a black, long-term depression, but I could. If I did, I probably couldn’t stay in ministry and maybe couldn’t even get a job and we would lose our house and my wife would have the burden of trying to make a living for us and trying to carry a husband in a state of hopelessness.
The reality is that I am very vulnerable. I am a prime target of Satan and he would love to destroy or discredit me. I am hated by the world system because I am a lover of God. I am vulnerable to sinful choices in my own flesh. I am very vulnerable.
Pray for me. I haven’t done a lot of things, but I could. If I did any one of many different things, the consequences for me, my family, and CBC would be appalling. The worst consequence of all is that God would be dishonored, His power and His holiness questioned. Unbelievers who heard about my fall would wag their tongues about the hypocrisy of pastors, and the sinfulness of Christians, and the falseness of the Bible, and the irrelevance of God. Many believers would be angry and feel abandoned, would talk about me, would be embittered toward me, and would never forgive me. Many other believers would have their faith shaken, and their walk with God would take yet one more discouraging hit.
Please pray for me. Put my picture on your fridge or my name on your dashboard and remember to pray for me. Pray that I would continually draw near to God. Ask God that I will live a holy life and a balanced life. Ask God that no one will lie about me and that I will not have a heart attack. Pray for my wisdom and my decision-making. Ask that I would be diligent and focused. Pray for me to be faithful for the long haul. Pray that I would be gracious and truthful. Pray that I would be courageous and kind. Pray that God would increase my ministry impact. Pray that I would keep short accounts with God—confessing immediately. Pray that I would not batter myself over my sins and mistakes. Ask that I would not steer my life into the ditch. Pray that I will be a great blessing to my wife, children, grandchildren, and many others. Pray that I would be quick to confess and slow to anger. Pray that I would be careful to listen and slow to speak. Pray that I would not dwell on negative things nor be anxious about problems. Pray for my testimony and my health and my finances. Ask that I would honor God in every thought and every action. Pray that I would always love God and obey Him. Pray that God’s hand would be with me at all times. Pray that God would keep me from being harmed by evil and from causing evil. Ask that I would serve God and seek His glory. Pray that God would bless me with great spiritual, relational, emotional, and ministerial wellbeing.
Pray for me. I mean it. Really, pray for me. Pray for yourself. Pray for everyone you know. The things I have listed above apply to all of us who have trusted Christ—we are all vulnerable and all dependent.