About five years ago, I was called by Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership to bring a prayer team to the General Conference headquarters to pray during a major church business meeting that takes place every October. Church leaders from all over the world congregate at the General Conference headquarters in Maryland to share division reports and make important decisions for the coming year at the meeting, the Annual Council.
Since our first invitation to pray, a group of us have come back each year to pray specifically for our church leaders during this event. Sometimes we’ve even arrived several weeks in advance to fast and pray when we knew difficult issues were being discussed and addressed. Hundreds of people have also joined us in prayer from their homes.
Why do we do this?
In Exodus 17, we see the story of Joshua leading the children of Israel in battle against the Amalakites. During the battle, Moses was up on a hill overlooking the battle with his arms raised toward heaven, interceding for his people. However, as the Bible tells us, his arms grew heavy and he could not keep holding them up.
Interestingly, when his arms dropped, the Amalakites began to win the battle, but when his arms were raised the Israelites prevailed over the Amalakites. Since he couldn’t keep holding up his arms alone, God sent him two supportive intercessors by the name of Aaron and Hur to help hold up his arms. As a result, Joshua and the Israelites won this battle!
Because of this simple story, I have been inspired that we need to do more of the same. Instead of criticizing and complaining, it’s time we hold up the arms of our leaders in prayer. Whether we agree or not with the decisions they make, these men and women who lead our church are in need of prayer. They face a spiritual battle daily (see Ephesians 6), and the outcome could affect the destiny of thousands if not millions of people.
Ezekiel 22:30 says God is looking for intercessors to stand in the gap on behalf of His people so He will not destroy the land. Will you be one of His intercessors? Will you stand in the gap on behalf of your fellow church members, on behalf of your pastor, on behalf of your church? Join me and many others as we pray for our church leaders.
Melody Mason, United in Prayer coordinator
Note: To view this week’s prayer requests for the world church, please click here!