November 29 – Hebrews 13:7-19. Pray for Leaders.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29 – Hebrews 13:7-19. Pray for Leaders.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. 
The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. 

Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

Remember your leaders and pray for them.

While this letter is asking for prayers for the author himself and those that work with him, it is not something we should take lightly.

When scandals hit – and they do all too often, we seem to take a certain amount of pleasure in a leader being brought down.  We might try to hide it and speak with pitying words, but we quickly justify our words with the behavior that brought them to this point, whether or not it has been proven.  We are absolutely certain that they deserve what has happened to them.

It happens with pastors, priests, political leaders, coaches, teachers … everyone.  It happens to us.

In high school, someone’s downfall might mean that we become more popular.  We might be proven right on an issue, but generally our stock goes up when someone else is destroyed.

In church or in the workplace, it is hideous to see, but the same type of thing happens.  We respond when someone’s awful stuff is exposed – they are destroyed and we quietly hide in the corner grinning because they will no longer be able to hold the power or prestige that had followed them.

We don’t often identify with the one whom God calls to be a servant.  We preach those words, but we want to ensure that everyone else is ready to be a servant so that we can be in power.

In God’s kingdom, though … we are each called to support and pray for those who are in leadership.  Now that doesn’t mean we only support and pray for those who are in leadership in our small group – it does mean that we do so for everyone, no matter who they are.  We are to care for, pray for, support and extend our confidence to those in authority – rather than wait for them to be exposed for a mistake or a sin.

Pray now.