Rev. Dr. Lakeya Stewart
“Lord, bless the works of my hands!” This is the prayer of most ordained ministers whose heart and desire are to serve others as they seek to honor God. As ministers, Honoring God must always be the motivation for all that we say and do.
Pastors, chaplains, and all those involved in some form of ministry should always remember self-care. Often times we avail ourselves to others during difficult times and we find ourselves neglecting our own families and mental health when times get tough in our personal lives.
Recently, I read a news article about a pastor in Florida who killed his wife. This pastor literally shot and killed his wife as she was seeking to enter a bank. Is it possible that this pastor poured out all that God had poured into him while serving the community and his congregation rather than investing some of the emotional energy and support into his own family? Was he so busy with ministry that he was unable to find the pastoral support he needed for himself? It was mentioned in the article that the pastor and his wife had marital issues. Unfortunately, too many times pastors and counselors provide counseling to others while neglecting their own families and personal issues.
Everyone involved in ministry, especially pastors, must replenish and renew their strength in order to continue to be the best spiritual leaders possible. As written in Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Jesus retreated from others to steal away for some alone time with His Father. We do not know about the prayer life of the pastor in Florida, but, saints should all be able to testify about what a difference a little talk with Jesus has made in our own lives.
Other sources reported that this pastor was influential and had over 600,000 followers on social media at the time of his murderous acts. The same hands shown on social media used to pray for people as they were “slain in the Spirit”, were also used to pull the trigger on a gun multiple times violently killing his wife. My heart bleeds with sadness and anger as yet another young and precious life has been senselessly taken. This is not an issue of skin color, race or ethnicity. This is a problem of sin and humanity’s pre-disposition to a sinful nature as a result of “The Fall.”
My prayer is that the Lord give all spiritual leaders Holy boldness to proclaim the Good News of Christ in a dying world. This prayer includes a re-dedication of our vows to lead others to Christ. Cry out to God on behalf of ministry leaders everywhere as we ask God to “Bless the hands” that will lead people everywhere. In Jesus’ name. Amen!