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My Greatest Need

Over six months ago, I wrote a blog post about my congregation’s greatest need. That post was well received, and in light of that, I would like to flip the coin to the other side to tell you my greatest need as your Pastor. Again, as you can suspect, there are many guesses as to what might be the greatest need of the Lord’s minister. However, church history and my own experience have clearly spoken, and I will tell you that my greatest need is not that people would complain less, help more, or make my job easier. That is actually nowhere even on the list. No matter where the Lord has planted him to do this masterful, fearsome work, every great man of God has one desperate need of his people. This need, simply put, is that they would pray for him.

Listen to a story of one of my spiritual fathers in the faith that speaks to this:

There once were five young college students spending the weekend in London. As the Lord’s Day came, they decided to see the famed Charles Spurgeon preach at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The young men were wise enough to know that there was typically not even standing room in the giant hall that Spurgeon preached in, so they went relatively early in the morning. As they arrived at the front door, they found them sadly locked. While they waited for the doors to open in the cool brisk air, a man greeted walking towards the door, “You gentlemen look cold. Would you like me to give you a tour of the place?” They obviously could not hold back their excitement and relief and accepted the offer. As they walked through the great entryway and to the Colosseum-looking amphitheater, they marveled at the magnificent building. With a sparkle in his eye, the man asked the college students if he could show them the best part of the place. They stared at the desk from where Spurgeon preached, wondering if they were about to be taken up those precious fifteen steps, only to be surprised as the man led them down a hallway and began to head downstairs. Not wanting to offend the man, the college students obliged to follow but found themselves disappointed at the direction they were headed. As they made their way to an old door in the basement, the man gently opened it and said this is where some of the greatest work is done. The door swung open to reveal a giant boiler room that heated and powered the entire facility, and to the surprise of the students, it was littered with 700 people bowed in prayer. The prayer warriors were pleading with God to bless the service that was to begin soon in the auditorium above them. After this quick peek, the man closed the door and introduced himself to the college students as Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers.

Spurgeon was often asked why he had so much success and why things seemed to go so well for him in the pulpit and ministry. His answer was always the same, “My people pray for me.” In his letters to the churches he ministered at early in his ministry and the letters to his family, you will see him repeatedly, almost desperately, plead with them to pray for him. There is humility in a prayer-dependent man that God blesses. You see, we often forget things like Romans 9:16.

“16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

There is no doubt that thousands were saved through the gospel ministry of Charles Spurgeon, yet he was simply the means through which God who has mercy saved these blind, broken, deaf sinners who hated God. In the same way, I could be as eloquent as any man, as powerful a speaker you have ever seen, and as learned as the greatest theologians of all time, but if God does not decide to move in and through my ministry, it will all be for naught.

My dear family, I do not ask for anything from you other than that you commit to pray for me daily. I am in desperate need of your prayers at all times. I am a weak, sinful man in need of a mighty Savior every single day. The only thing that keeps me from sin, the only thing that makes me useful in the things of God, is His amazing grace. Please never forget me. There is no one in this area that needs you to fight alongside them, to wrestle with the God of the cosmos in prayer more than me.

As Paul wrote to the different churches, he asked them to pray for him (eight times). This was a regular necessity, and he made sure others knew of his need for prayer. Whether it was to the Romans, Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, the Thessalonians (twice), and even Philemon were all asked by this great man to pray for him. If Paul saw this as a great need for his ministry, if Spurgeon saw this as his most significant need in ministry, my friends, I tell you that I am in good company when I declare that my greatest need is for you to pray for me as often as the Lord would lead you to.

Pray that I would be a holy man, a wise man, and a humble man for God’s glory. Pray that I would be gifted to preach and teach His word with an effectiveness that only He can make happen. Pray that I would labor heartily for this beloved gathering of saints. Pray that I would shepherd my family well first. Pray that my love and knowledge of God will grow daily. Pray that I would be the man of God that I am called to be. I cannot thank you enough.

May the Lord bless your week as you seek His kingdom first!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Dan

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Colossians 1:28

"Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ."

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