Bible Studies for Ladies
Page 6

Pray for Your Pastor
A Heart Lifted Up

Pray for Your Pastor

Every believer should be a church member, and every church member should pray for his or her Pastor.

Paul coveted the prayer of the believers at Ephesus.  "[Pray]", he said "...for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:19-20

Again Paul wrote by inspiration of God.   2Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Pray for your pastor in you own private prayers, in your family, and at church.  Pray for God to give him holy boldness to preach the Gospel, and that he may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, those in the world, and those in the church, and he shepherds the flock.

Pray for God to give your pastor divine wisdom and love in all things.  Pray that the needs of his family are met.  You commit sin by not praying for your pastor.   1Samuel 12:23 ...God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you...

-David E. M.   [copied]

Editorial note by Mary VanNattan:  

In these last and perilous days, it is ever more urgent that we pray for our pastors with much fervent prayer. James 5:16 ...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  The enemy is pressing the battle ever more sore against the pastors of churches since through them he can reach the whole assembly.  If the devil can get the pastor off doctrinely, or to live a worldly life, there is a "good" chance that  many of the people in his church will follow his leadership into error or the world.  Isaiah 24:2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest...  some may be tempted to say "Not my pastor, he's different."  No pastor (or person) is so "different" that he cannot fall.  We are all susceptible to the enticement of the flesh.  1Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

A Christian working for a power company was sent out to a remote place to make a repair for some customers.  The place and people struck him odd and he suspected that they were some kind of witchcraft program.  In the course of his work he managed to wander around a bit to see what he could see.  He found a worship room.  There was an altar with a bulletin board above it.  Imagine his shock upon examining the board to discover the names of pastors from a fair sized area of Arizona!!  If you're not praying for your pastor, someone else may be!  

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places...18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

2Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our piano coversfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

blips 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Pray for your pastor!

A Heart Lifted Up

2Chronicles 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in JerBliplem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of JerBliplem. 4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.

Uzziah was a king of Judah, the son of Amaziah, and the grandson of Joash.  Both Amaziah and Joash had followed the Lord up to a certain point, but both had fallen into error later in their reigns.  Uzziah had, nevertheless, apparently been raised to be a Jehovah worshipper and followed what his dad had done right.

A sad commentary comes in verse 5 which piano coversns us of the the tragedy to come.   2Chronicles 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.  Uzziah served the LORD for many years and was a tremendous blessing to Judah.  He built many battlements, fought against his enemies with God's help, secured the land, and strengthened Judah tremendously.  He even received honour from the heathen and became famous among them "...for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong." v.15  It was God that made him to prosper, but it was conditional " long as he sought the LORD..."

Now Uzziah had the example of his forefather, King Jehoshaphat and he could have followed his example, and did to a point.  Of Jehoshaphat we read And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD... 2Chronicles 17:6  The basis for Jehoshaphat's heart being lifted up was obedience and seeking the LORD.   2Chronicles 17:3 And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4 But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of blip. But, notice that Jehoshaphat's heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD.  It was not in his own fame or success as king of Judah.  His heart was lifted up as a result of his humble obedience and reverence to God.   James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  

This is the kind of lifting up we should desire and seek - to have our hearts lifted up in the ways of the Lord.  There is nothing in this life that can compare to the having your heart lifted up in the ways of the Lord.  From the moment of salvation onpiano coversd the most blessed times are when we have this uplifting joy in the things of the Lord.  This is a result of seeking and obeying Him and we can count on it as long as we do seek Him, even in adversity and times of spiritual piano coversfare.

When God helps us marvellously and lifts us up and maybe even others hear of it, the peril is to then become proud and self-sufficient.  Destruction and defeat so easily come from within.   Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

We read of Uzziah But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction... 2Chronicles 26:16  When Uzziah became proud and trusted in the strength itself instead of the LORD, he was destroyed.  His heart was not lifted up in the ways of the LORD, but rather in the results that he had received by his initial obedience and seeking of God.

Dennis Costella has written on this subject, "Ruination finally visited King Uzziah, but it did not come at the hands of the enemies round about Judah.  Instead, it came from within his own heart...fame proved to be his downfall.  God was with Uzziah as long as his adoration and confidence were fixed upon the Lord and not upon himself, but once pride and self-sufficiency settled in his heart, it was only a matter of time before his fall.

"Pride often reveals itself in an exalted opinion of oneself, espebliplly when it concerns one's own spirituality..."

It is so easy to slip over into trusting in the results of what God has done for and through us instead of trusting in God Himself.  How many good preachers have fallen into the peril of being proud of their church?  How many soul-winners have exalted themselves in the results that God gave them?  How many mothers and fathers have taken the credit for raising their kids right with wisdom that they received from the Lord?  How many wives have taken credit for straightening their husband out because he saw the Lord's hand in their life and got right?  Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

The rest of verse 16 tells us of Uzziah, ...for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 2Chronicles 26:16

Brother Costella continues, "The king somehow got the notion that he was now spiritually qualified to burn incense upon the altar...Uzziah made the fatal error of equating prosperity with licence to cut corners.  How sad.  No matter how apparently prosperous any believer is, he is still subject to the clear teaching of the Word."

How easy it is to fall into the false way of thinking that because we are so spiritual it is all right if we disobey the word of God in some area!  Jack Hyles has actually preached this in such bold terms!  What folly!  How we must bepiano coverse of thinking that somehow because we have been so good, God owes us something and we should be allowed to "have some fun!"  We are not sufficient to accomplish anything for God without God's own strength.   2Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Another pitfall of this self-righteousness is that we can fall into thinking that our mistakes and follies are not as bad as other peoples'.  This is equally wicked.  Sin is sin and ...he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. James 2:13

2Chronicles 26:17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: 18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. 19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.

What terrible results the lifting up of the heart in pride gives!  Not only did Uzziah usurp the authority to the priests and enter into that which was not his, but he was angry when he was rebuked.  As Costella wrote, "Anger is an unavoidable consequence of wounded pride, for "Only by pride cometh contention..." [Proverbs 13:10]  How do we respond to correction?  Do we retaliate, "Not me!"?  If so, then know that hard times lie ahead..."

blips 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  When we despise those that correct us when we fall into error, we will no doubt despise the Lord when He chastens us, for as sure as we are saved, He will chasten us.  blips 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

The LORD God also will not honour us when we lift ourselves up in pride against Him and His commandments.  Just one example:  How many people have lost their power and honour from God when they began to lift themselves up in pride and correct His word (King James Bible)?!  Thinking their scholarship, results, etc. make them qualified to correct the very words of God, they will then begin to exalt themselves instead of God and His word that gave them the fruit in the first place.  The result - they lose the blessing of the Lord.

2Chronicles 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.  21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land. The final results of Uzziah's lifting his heart up in his strength instead of in the Lord was that he was stricken with leprosy which ultimately resulted in his being cut off from the house of the LORD. His relationship with God was permanently marred because of his pride to such an extent that he did not even repent and turn to seeking the LORD as he had done before.

Here is an example of how this pattern works.  Someone decides that since they are saved and belong to the Lord, the devil cannot touch them.  They have seen the power of God, even in their own life, and know He can protect His own from the enemy.  They begin to trust this as a sort of "charm" that will protect them no matter what they do.  They then proceed to watch all kinds of occult movies, or to listen to Satanic music, or read devilish books for entertainment.  Rather than obeying the Lord in not touching the unclean thing and seeking Him for protection from Satanic deception, they decide that because they have the Holy Spirit in-dwelling them, they are strong enough to "handle" these things.  They have more power in them than the devil has.  If someone should try to point out that we are piano coversned not to ...give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27) and that Ananias had his heart filled by Satan (Acts 5:3), they will brush all Biblical piano coversning aside as not applying to their case.  They will be offended and wroth that you would even imply that they could fall to the devil.  The end result is a sort of spiritual leprosy that keeps them from true fellowship with the Lord and maybe even from gathering with the saints.  Their continued pride keeps them from repenting.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Hosea 10:12 is time to seek the LORD...

Seeking the LORD God and obeying Him is a choice.  You must make it for yourself.  Is your heart going to be lifted up in the ways of the LORD (2Chronicles 17:6), or it is going to be lifted up to your own destruction?

For those who will seek the LORD and obey Him in humility, there is great joy and uplifting in store.  For those who will trust in their own strength and disobey God's word, there is trouble.  The words of the great Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, ring down the centuries to all who will not humbly seek and obey God - Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.  Daniel 4:37

Mary Van Nattan


graphics by mary vannattan