PASTORS AND THE WILL OF GOD
It’s tough doing ministry when your will conflicts with God’s will. This isn’t something members of the church often realize goes on among pastors. People look to pastors as a modeled life of devotion and complete surrender to God’s will in their lives. However, pastors experience the same struggles and spouts of rebellion as they do. The only difference is, pastors are usually prone to wander in it alone. This is a sad state to be in for anyone—especially for pastors.
Through my years of ministry, I have spoken to many pastors who told me they are burnt out and ready to fetch another job. Maybe you’ve felt that way, or maybe you are going through this right now. What I found with pastors who say they want out of the ministry is that they have lost faith in their ability to do God’s will as a shepherd. Now this is not a put down on pastors. It’s an honest assessment of what most are going through. For a moment (if at all possible), put aside all the reasons why you feel like throwing in the towel. Pull out your Bible and turn to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and read it.
What stood out to you in this prayer?
The amazing thing about “The Lord’s Prayer” is that it reveals so many endless truths about prayer displayed in the simplest of ways. Jesus outlines the prayer this way:
- Bringing adoration to God (vs. 9)
- Surrendering to God’s will (vs. 10)
- Petitioning God’s provision (vs. 11)
- Confessing the need for forgiveness (vs. 12)
- Requesting strength to overcome temptations (vs. 13a)
- Declaring praise to God (vs. 13b)
Jesus teaches His followers that prayer is about Him, not you. The focus is to be on God, not you. The requests are to be centered on God’s will, not yours. This ought to be the heart and determination of prayer. For the moment your prayer life ceases to possess and be enhanced by such qualities, is the moment you cease to do God’s will. Mark Batterson puts it simply, “You’ve got to do God’s will God’s way.”[i] That means your prayers got to be about God, and God alone!
So, my dear pastor, if you are thinking about throwing in the towel, make sure it’s giving up your will to do His will! There’s a huge difference between surrender and giving up. One of the best ways to get back on track and fulfill God’s will in your life is to humbly pray (with great faith) this modeled prayer given by our Savior. I have found the more I pray His will over my life, the more clarity, strength and resolve I have to serve Him and advance His kingdom.
Modeled in the Old Testament
- “Our Father in heaven” (Exodus 3:14-15; Malachi 2:10)
- “Hallowed be your name” (Psalm 16:8)
- “Your kingdom come” (Psalm 2:4-6)
- “Your will be done” (Job 42:2)
- “Give us this day our daily bread” (Deuteronomy 8:10)
- “Forgive us our debts” (Isaiah 43:25-26)
- “Forgiven our debtors” (Genesis 42)
- “Lead us not into temptation” (Proverbs 7:1-5)
- “Deliver us from evil” (Psalm 23:4)
Modeled in the New Testament
- “Our father in heaven” (John 17:1)
- “Hallowed be your name” (1 Peter 3:15a)
- “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 25:34)
- “Your will be done” (Ephesians 1:11)
- “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 14:15-21)
- “Forgive us our debts” (Acts 3:19)
- “Forgiven our debtors” (Ephesians 4:32)
- “Lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41)
- “Deliver us from evil” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Modeled in Your Life—Personal Focus
Jesus patterned this simple yet profound prayer for all His followers to model and pray. Examine each portion of “The Lord’s Prayer” and use it as a “refresher” in your prayer life today.
Modeled in Your Home—Parental Focus
Take this time and pray over your family: Lord Jesus, I pray that each member of my family will honor and bless Your holy Name. I pray that my family and I will anticipate Your return and seek You for our daily needs. Help my family, Oh Lord, to forgive those who wrong them, and it is my prayer that they would not be overcome by evil, but that they would overcome evil with good. Amen.
Modeled in Your Church—Pastoral Focus
Apply “The Lord’s Prayer” to your staff, leadership and church congregation. Pray that everyone in your church will:
- Honor and Praise God
- Seek First His Kingdom
- Pray His Will Be Done
- Ask for God’s Blessings
- Ask for Forgiveness
- Forgive Others
- Overcome Satan and Sin
[i] Batterson, Mark, Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, (Kindle Location 173). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.