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Growing Into a Pastor’s Prayer

Do You Know Why?

How often do you think about ‘why’ you do the things you do? I suspect that most of us are busier than we would like to be.  We hurry from one appointment to the next trying to keep it all together.  With the holidays approaching I don’t expect that our schedules will become any less impacted.  Like many of you, I’ve given a lot of time and no small amount of money to the time management industry.  I may be more organized than I’ve ever been (which truthfully isn’t saying much).  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am always conscious about why I’m doing it.  I may not need to delve into deep reflection when it comes to mowing my lawn.  However, staying rooted in ‘why’ is absolutely essential to my relationship with God.  If I don’t remember ‘why’, growing in grace becomes impossible.

Knowing Where We’re Growing

Like with every trip we take, we have to have a clear idea of where we want to end up.  The same is true for our life of discipleship.  Our life with Christ is more than a series of ethical decisions that, step by step, carry us through our years.  There is a ‘WHY’ that motivates our faith response.  In the life of Christ we are given an image of a whole life.  We see an example of action and relationship that we are called to emulate.  But even in Jesus life we see that it is fundamentally rooted in his relationship with God.  Jesus is and does because of who he sees himself in relation to God.  The destination that we set for ourself is to live more fully into our relationship with God and experience the grace to live as a catalyst for the transformation of the world.

We Never Do This Alone

The last piece of our puzzle comes from the text we will share on Sunday.  Ephesians 1:15-23 is a pastor’s prayer for his congregation.  Paul commends the church for the stories he has heard about their life and faith.  He is grateful for the love and ministry they have shared with others.  Paul doesn’t end with simple commendation.  He encourages the church to look ahead.  While it would be easy for any church to become complacent about the success they’ve had, Paul encourages them to be striving and growing.  Because of all that God has accomplished in the life of the Jesus they profess, the church in Ephesus has unlimited potential to grow.  Paul’s encouragement extends to us.  Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church is also a prayer for RFUMC.  He spends the rest of his letter sharing an image of the church which helps us live into his prayer.