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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer

He Prayed For The Big Church Across Town

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Pastor Miller hung the phone up and slumped into the chair. This was unbelievable! It was sickening. He sensed the pending devastation.

The voice mail on his cell phone announced that a 3rd couple in two months wanted to move their membership across town to the big church.

Only a handful of families were left here now. Would the nightmare ever stop? It was like a hemorrhage that was unending. The families that had left weren’t content to just go, they pulled on the remaining ones with reports of how wonderful things were at the new church. Their family and friends wavered in their loyalties. Who knew where it would stop. His church wasn’t growing. It was shrinking and he couldn’t stop the process.

No letter of transfer was ever asked for, and the other pastor had never called when someone moved in. He didn’t want to accuse the pastor across town of trying to proselyte, but the members there didn’t hesitate to do it for him.

The big church had quite a few people with money. They could afford to hire a full-time music director. They had also imported a youth pastor that was given full reign and a handsome expense account to attract and entertain young people. He did his job well, evidently. He personally encouraged all the young people in town to be a part of his youth group.

The bigger church had concerts, dramas, guitar driven worship, newer songs, fog machines, strobe lights, multimedia presentations, Power Points and many well-known guest speakers. A Starbucks type coffee shop was just down the hall from the entrance. The aroma always drew a crowd. Their church always had something going on there.

It was impossible for the pastor Miller’s small church to compete with the big boys. He had neither the resources nor the staff. He worked a secular job just to keep the wolf away from the door.

He had nearly broken his health trying to dig a church out of nothing. He had been ethical to a fault. He had never taken anyone from another church.

He personally had won most of the people in his church. He had taught almost every one there a Home Bible Study. He had prayed them through. He had baptized them. So this is the thanks he gets? How does he stop the migration? He didn’t want to feel jealous or harbor bad thoughts, but it still didn’t feel good. His wife was devastated. Now, there was little chance the church would be self-supporting anytime soon.

He knew the Pentecostals in town considered him “old school”.  He still had testimony service. His church even sang out of the songbook. They sang many choruses were those sung by previous generations.

A piano and a box guitar provided the music. They used to have a drummer, but he had moved across town to the big church.

Bro. Miller had never been invited to preach a special meeting in his life. He knew he never would be asked.

Two special needs adults in his church always caused distractions to visitors. One often spoke out loud at the wrong time and had to be treated like a child.

The $41.43 in the Sunday night offering last week didn’t pay much on the utilities or church payment. His people were poor. He had to help most of them survive. He had paid utilities for many of his people, helped a few times with their house payments. He’d even co-signed for a car, once or twice.

The girls in the big church called the young girls in his church ‘grandmas’. Their modest apparel was scorned as unnecessary. At the big church, not much was said about standards evidently. (That was an unkind thought he knew, but he’s not been impressed by what he’d seen in the mall.)

There was no one for pastor Miller to complain to, confide in or cry with. He privately wished that the Prophet Nathan would go across town and preach the story of the ‘one ewe lamb’ again. It seemed fitting.

When he heard reports about ‘revival’ and church growth across town, he knew where some of the growth had come from.

Life didn’t seem fair. He made up his mind that he would paste a smile on his face, keep doing his best to have good church, preach like there was a house full, not talk about those that left, and encourage the rest.

God would sort it all out some how. He was trying to help build God’s Kingdom, not his own. He would not allow a war to go on. He didn’t know what to do.

So Pastor Miller took advantage of his off-night and went to his church by himself. He went up to the altar in the empty sanctuary and knelt down to pray.

He only prayed for one thing. He prayed for the church across town. He prayed that God would give them a great harvest of souls. He prayed that God would abundantly bless them. He prayed for the Pastor, for their leaders, and for the members. He prayed for their finances and for their outreach efforts.

He prayed for them, like he wished someone, somewhere would pray for him. He prayed for the big church across town, like he wished someone would pray for the church he pastored.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 31, 2011 at 12:01 am

Posted in Church Planting, Prayer

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The Night Shipment Of Tears

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The Night Shipment Of Tears

“The Night Shipment of Tears has arrived. We need to sort them first, according to the sender’s name, and then secondly by the fragrance of the prayer or tears. Make sure each golden bottle is properly sealed and labeled. They must be preserved and readily available for the 24 Elders when they bow before the Throne.

“Then, on this Leger here, I want you to enter today’s date, the sender’s name, and also the subject of their prayer, so we can sort these vials according to their specific odors.

“I don’t have to remind you to hurry, we’ve got more shipments on the way. A backlog is not acceptable.”

“The tears and the prayers of the saints have been captured on earth by our Angels and sealed into golden vials. They are Earth’s most prized possessions. There is nothing that the Lord counts more valuable than these.

“The tears of each prayer type have odors that only He can discern. It is the only earthly thing allowed to enter into this, the Holiest of all places.

“In a few more days, the Four and Twenty Elders will come and bow before His throne. They will bring their harps and they will bring these vials before the Lord.”

Michael the Archangel looked around at his fellow Angels. They all nodded their acceptance of the requests and turned to busy themselves.

They took each bottle and attached a small label that had this notation:

The vials were then stored in a large room of innumerable vessels holding the tears and the prayers of the saints. Their odors were a sweet-smelling fragrance that could only be enjoyed by the King of Kings.

(Your prayers and your tears are not unnoticed. They are not treated lightly. Heaven captures your tears and puts them into golden vials. Their fragrance will become the aroma around the throne of God.)

Psa. 56:8… put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Rev. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Prayer, Tears

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