The Burden Of The Lord For Leaders:
Have you taken the time out to consider what your church leaders go through? Truth is we often times are too consumed by and overwhelmed with our own hurts and needs, demanding our leaders attention, soliciting their prayers and ministry to us. We hardly take the time out to ponder about their possible needs or to seek the Lord on their behalf. Little consideration is given to the fact that they too may well be in need of someone to minister to their area of need. We see their flaws, we judge them. When they fall short, we disqualify them.
My heart is burdened as the Lord reveals to me the areas where leaders in the body of Christ are suffering. I’m speaking of the five fold ministry gifts. Apostles are blind and have stagnated because they are not sure what direction they should be thrusting in, they need the support of the other leaders, especially the Prophets, to help put perspective and bring clarity to the vision. I see Prophets in caves, choked by spirits of rejection, perversion and pride. The Evangelists have abandoned their work because their needs are not being met and are distracted by the same. Teachers have lost the zeal to study to show themselves approved, and have become frustrated with their students; and Pastors are bleeding to death from the hurts inflicted by other leaders and the sheep. Our leaders are hurting! They do face battles on every side: within the leadership circle, within their homes and with the people that they are called to minister to.
While this is not the case for every leader, it is the case for most. For those who are still in training, they have been hindered from walking in the fullness of their calling because of fear, that is fueled by discouraging reports and their own hurts.
This is why it is extremely important to uphold and practice the scriptures that encourage us to pray for our leaders. Paul, in many of his writings frequently asked that the saints offer prayers to God on his behalf and on behalf of those who labour in the faith. The writer of Hebrews also sounds the same call. Hebrews13:7 says:
“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.”
And again, Hebrews 13:17-18:
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. 18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”
Our church leaders keep watch over our souls, they give an account to God for us. We must understand that under their leadership, we receive whatever God deposits in them for us. Now if the vessel is filled with clutter and mess, there will be little to no room for the Lord to pour into them. What then will you receive?
Let me encourage us to pray for our leaders. Travail in prayer, groan in prayer, labour in prayer for them, that their needs will be met, that they will be made whole, that they will have the capacity to receive from the throne of God to deposit into God’s people.
According to Ephesians 4:11-16, the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers function to perfect the saints, that is, to bring them to maturity, to equip them for the work of the ministry. If these offices are vacant or dysfunctional, the saints cannot be perfected, neither can they be equipped.
The result of all these gifts functioning in tandem with eachother, in the manner that they should function, is a saint who is fully equipped, able to operate in any of those gifts because he or she has been poured into by all five types of leaders.
Not everyone is called into church leadership; the body is diverse. We all have different roles to play and the onus is upon us to pray that those at the helm of this moving organism (the church) will function according to God’s design.
I challenge you to begin to develop consistency in praying for your leaders. Prophesy over their lives, sing over them, encourage them, pray for them! I am certain that we will begin to see more change, order and manifestations of God’s glory as we become selfless in this persuit, recognizing that we all, different parts of the body, are working towards one goal. That is, to attain to the full stature of the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ, executing and enforcing the edicts of His Kingdom in this realm.
Prayer over leaders
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we repent for the times that we have gossiped about our leaders and failed to uphold them in prayer. Today, we choose to do differently by speaking over our leaders.
We prophesy to the Apostles, receive sight, clarity and freedom to move forward. We prophesy to the Prophets, be free from the chains that bind you and be released from your caves. We prophesy to the Evangelists, be free from distraction and be filled with the passion of Christ for souls. We prophesy zeal to come upon the Teachers, we speak that the love of Jesus Christ will be ever burning in their hearts. We speak grace to the Pastors, that the healing balm of the Lord Jehovah Rafa rest upon their hearts, their minds, their wounds and heal them.
We prophesy to the leaders in training, do not be afraid; come forth! Come forth into your callings, come forth and fullfill your mandates, come forth in Jesus name!
Father we thank You for the release of our leaders, for the release of the five fold ministry, to function according to you design. In Jesus name, AMEN!
By Joanna Lloyd