This weekend, we will have our fourth annual Men’s Leadership Retreat, and I hope you will be in prayer for all those who will be attending.  I know that so many of my Family articles are concerned with such calls to pray, and that is because prayer is so essential to our individual lives and to the life of our church.  Prayer is to the Christian spirit what breathing is to the body – without it, our souls will suffocate.  As we approach the weekend, please pray for the following:

PRAY for Bill Haynes to be used as God’s mouthpiece in the delivery of the Word and in the exhortation to faithfulness.  He will be speaking from Romans 8, and our desire is that we as men will be challenged and equipped by God’s truth to be the disciples we are supposed to be.

PRAY for God to give all of us open, humble hearts.  Conviction of sin and inspiration to pursue discipline are 2 key things that each man needs.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to fall upon us with the full weight of God’s truth and to stoke our hearts with Christ’s power as we seek to fulfill the reality of our calling as men.

PRAY for our fellowship with one another.  Pray that we would put aside all of the normal, superficial trappings of our egos so that we can really experience biblical love, accountability, and encouragement as we are involved in one another’s lives.

PRAY for all our church families.  Strong churches are composed of strong families.  God’s design for men is that we serve Him as the pastors of our homes.  Thus, pray specifically for changes to be implemented in our families as God continues to develop this ethic of family leadership in our midst.  Some men may need to drastically reorient their lives and even their jobs to fulfill what God puts on their hearts about leading their family as their first spiritual priority, so pray for Christ’s strength and grace to be evident as such changes are made.

The decisions that are being made right now in our homes have a determinative effect on the future health of our families and upon our church as a whole.  I often think back to what my life would have been like if I had been raised in an atmosphere of godliness.  I love my mother and my father dearly, and I do remember us all going to church together when I was very young.  However, church was the only place where expressions of faith were evident.

I often wonder what my home might have been like if my dad had been a man who loved God and walked with Him as his first priority.  I wonder what our home life would have been like if my father had taught us the Word, led us in worship, and prayed audibly over each of us throughout the week.  Maybe my parents would have stayed together; maybe my family would not bear the deep scars of an ugly divorce; maybe my siblings and their children would be walking with God today.

I do not doubt the sovereignty of God in all of my family circumstances; on the contrary, I know every experience of my life has been the result of His precious providence bringing me to exactly where I am as a husband, father, and pastor.  Yet, to reflect upon what “might have been” is of benefit for making us realize the incredible significance of our present actions and decisions.

What would Morningview look like if every man was pressing hard after the glory of God in his life?  What would we look like if every man was loving his wife as Christ loved the church?  What would it look like if every man was making it his personal responsibility to teach the Word to his children and to raise them up to truly walk with God?  I am not saying that we do not have some good, godly men in our church.  I am truly blessed by the maturity of the men in our church, but none of us has “arrived.”  None of us are doing all we can possibly do to lead our families and our church in pursuing the ultimate priority of Christ.  Thus, please pray for Christ to renew us to our calling through this weekend.  I love each of you dearly!