An open letter to congregations: Let us pray

Brothers and Sisters in the faith,

I don’t know you, but I know something about you. I know you take your faith very seriously and you want to serve the church and the world. I know you have definite opinions about what scripture says on all sorts of subjects and that you have high expectations of your clergy. This is all great and I certainly do not want to discourage you from being involved. There is one thing though that I think you can help us with.

Give us our quiet time.

No, I’m serious. We need time to pray and to reflect. This is different than it is for you because it is part of our job description. If you want clergy that aren’t burnt out, that are as in touch with the Holy Spirit as possible and as ready to serve as possible, we need time to pray.

Jesus withdrew quite frequently to pray (Read the Gospel of Luke) and He is our model for Ministry (and life in general). I know too many clergy who are stifled in their time alone by their congregations. They often have to “pray in secret” because their congregations, elders or wardens do not think that time spent in prayer is appropriate to do “on the clock”.

If anything you should be concerned with clergy that do not pray.

Prayer is how our link with God, it is our communion with the Holy Spirit that illumines the scriptures to us for our Sunday morning sermon, it allows us to survive dealing with the intense emotions that come from doing pastoral care and it helps us maintain healthy marriages and relationships outside our official duties.

A praying clergy is a healthy clergy. Support your priest, pastor, or minister by giving them the time and space to pray. Give them time to go on retreat every so often. Give them the opportunity they need to spend time communing with their Creator.

The responsibilities of the clergy are great and they want to serve you to the best of their abilities. They can not do this if they are feeling disconnected from their source of life.

Fraternally yours,
Andrew

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