Praying behind his back

Recently my family was honored to participate in my son’s ordination to the Gospel ministry.  After heeding a call from God, enduring seven years of higher education and gaining quality experiences, his church in Topeka, Kansas felt it was time to “set him apart” in the Baptist tradition.

His friend and colleague brought the “Charge to the Congregation.”  Traditionally, these are words aptly spoken to remind the church what they were doing and what they should consider by this special recognition.  While typical admonitions to encourage and support this newly ordained minister were given, what rang out loud and clear to me was “pray for him behind his back.”

In all too many human interactions we are all too fast to talk, act and do things about another without including them, i.e., “behind their back.”  His encouragement was before your speak to him face to face, be sure you have prayed for him behind his back, or without his knowledge.  His counsel was that if we were prone to do this, we would more likely have less to “attack” another from the front side.

This is good advice for all congregants and their ministers.  Heck, it is good advice for every family member towards others in the family!  I sense that if we did more “praying for others behind their backs” we wouldn’t so willingly sling fiery darts their way attempting to burn down their good works or character.

Perhaps this is good advice for us and our newly elected and incumbent officials.  If all of us spent at least half the time we criticized in prayer for the person, I believe God would hear our prayers.

When we actually approach the Throne of the Most High God on behalf of someone else, we just might begin to see her as a child of God just like ourselves.  We may even see that he, although frail like me, is attempting to hear God as best he knows how.

A little novel I read once had a statement that I have adapted as my personal mission statement:  Help people get to know Jesus better and let Him change them from the inside out.

Perhaps I should stop now and pray for you.  Will you also pray for me?

Tommy Deal

Author's Website
About the Author
Tommy is the husband of Rev. Susan Deal, Minister of Music at First Baptist Church Dalton, Georgia. Together they have survived 30 years of being a ministry couple and have raised and launched two sons who are ministers in churches in Kansas and North Carolina. Tommy is a consultant and coach with congregations and clergy with Pinnacle Leadership Associates and coordinates disaster response with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia churches. Tommy has served as a public safety chaplain of fire departments and police departments in communities in which they have lived, and has been trained as a fire fighter and emergency medical responder.

Read more posts by