The long distance call from a minister facing a problem in his church was different from most I’ve received. Usually these contacts for counseling and requests for prayer by pastors have to do with problem prone people in their congregations who are giving them trouble. This honest preacher had concluded he was the problem.
“I’ve been watching what’s been happening in my church and see that I’m the reason for it,” he said, adding “Pray that I will be revived.”
“You’re halfway there,” I replied.
The moment we face up to our faults and start doing something about them, we’re on our way to greater effectiveness and better relationships with others. This minister was determined to remove any roadblocks to spiritual awakening in his church by enlisting some long distance praying for the needed breakthrough in his church to begin in him.
The world known evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, once said he faced his worst enemy each morning while shaving. Moody didn’t mean he hated his image in the mirror before him, but in confronting his weaknesses early and overcoming them before they spoiled his day he increased his potential to make a difference in the lives of others and the world. We’re still reaping the benefits of his early morning honesty and prayers.
A woman with whom I shared a dentist’s reception room told me about her former addiction to smoking. Her husband had urged her to quit many times but to no avail. She described finally ending her bondage to nicotine. This new freedom was like a breath of fresh air and she was eager to talk about it. “Stopping smoking was one of the easiest things I have ever done,” she said.
Why then had she been bound by this addiction for so long? She’d been unwilling to face her problem and pray for deliverance from it. Prayer made her freedom possible.
Facing personal problems can be frightening but without facing there’s no fixing.
And here’s the good news: God loves us and cares about those pesky problems that plague us…so we don’t have to face them alone. Consider this unconditional call: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Whatever our problems, His grace is sufficient for them all.