Pastor Search Prayer
"For I know the plans I have for you
declares the Lord ...
plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
ou will seek me and find me when you search for me with all of your heart."
- Jeremiah 29:11-13
This is a critical time in the life of our church, in our nation, and in our world. Never in the history of the human race have so many living souls inhabited this planet. It is likely, also, that never in man's history, have so many lost souls lived as neighbors to God's people. The kingdom of the enemy, and his hold on this world, seem to strengthen day-by-day. More and more, we, as the people of God, are coming under attack. Our children, notably the "millenials" seem to especially be targeted by the enemy. A satanic value system is being pushed on them in which good is called evil, and evil is called good. God's word proclaims that a terrible end will meet those who conform to this world in this way. (Isaiah 5:20)
Our Heavenly Father would use a yielded and perfected Liberty Park Baptist Church as His instrument in this troubled world. If our church were to submit itself totally to the will and transformative power of the Holy Spirit, the aftermath would be beyond our imaginative abilities. His word, in that thundering truth of Ephesians 3:20, recalibrates our thinking on what our united vision should be:
"Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever."
If His full plan for LPBC were to take place, this world would never be the same. We would be drawn into unity with Him and with each other in a bond of Divine love. Roaring worship "in Spirit and in Truth" would break out. Our community would be drawn in by the Spirit in a God-ordained way, already scripted by God. Souls would be saved from as near as our neighborhood, to the very ends of the earth. The generations being stolen by the enemy would be redeemed by the Lamb. We would cease to be on the defensive, waging warfare against the enemy in the way most feared by satan. The enemy's best fortifications "the gates of hell" could not prevail against the church praying God's will in faith and unity, in the Name of Jesus. And, our Father would be greatly glorified!
God has ordained that He Himself will lead His church. However, it is His will that this leadership will involve under-shepherds. First and foremost among these is the pastor. This word, pastor, literally means a helper, or feeder of the sheep. This person is invested with great power within the body of Christ. He is given the Spirit-anointed ability to lead the flock to the Throne of Grace. At that place is stoked the fires of faith-saturated prayer and the release of the Holy Spirit's power to shake the world, the enemy's kingdom, and human hearts ...
to lead the body to rely on our own understanding, planning, and strength and be guaranteed defeat. To bring this home, the Liberty Park neighborhood is populated by large numbers of a people who are blessed with a rare degree of affluence in context to the history of the world ... many of whom likely do not have a relationship with Jesus. Our neighbors are very much like the "rich young ruler" who came to Jesus. Our Lord's proclamation in summary of that encounter was,
"Assuredly I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
When His disciples heard it, they were astonished saying, "Who then can be saved?"
But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:23-26)
We are in a time of trial and great opportunity. We are at a crossroad. We have just experienced the celebration of life and homegoing of Dr. James Bruton. We have experienced the transition of Dr. Scott Guffin into a new phase of service to our Lord. We are awaiting God's anointed and ordained shepherd to arrive and lead. This person has already been selected by the true Head of the body. We have been given the power to discern who this is, and bring him into our midst ... or to lean on our own understanding, and fail. We need to come together and pray.
- That a burning passion for our Lord will arise here. (Matthew 22:37, Psalm 37:4)
- That LPBC would be yielded/prepared by the Holy Spirit to be used. That we have unity, a reflex to pray and expect God-sized things. That our faith will grow during this time of waiting. (John 17:20-21)
- That we would be given discernment to recognize and extend a call to the pastor God wills to lead us. Pray for the search committee to be given this. (James 1:5, 1 John 4:1)
- That God's chosen pastor for LPBC will follow God's leading to us. (1 Corinthians 7:17)
- That the enemy will be bound ... that no divisions arise among us ... that we wait patiently for the Lord to bring us our pastor. (1 Thessalonians 3:12, 1 Corinthians 1:10)
- That our body be a supportive place of love for our pastor (Psalm 105:15, 1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Samuel 12:23a, John 13:34)
- That a tremendous outpouring of God's Spirit will come, glorifying Jesus, bringing throngs of lost souls to salvation and true discipleship. That this movement of God will reverberate to the ends of the earth. (Acts 2:17-21, John 12:32)