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?