Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Epiphany: Year 2
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing—for that would be harmful to you.” (Hebrews 13: 17)
I believe we all are led by another person or persons. From our president down to the least followed person on the planet. Sometimes our leaders are a group of people as in a council or a cabinet, or vestry or board of directors. The reason we have this body of leadership is because in and of themselves, leaders often can’t figure out the next best move, they need help, they need our prayers.
As we care about the spiritual and physical health of our leaders we should keep them in prayer, asking God to aid and assist them in good thoughts and right actions for the welfare of their charge. Whether our leaders are one person or a group, they are not outside the influence of God. Even if we don’t like our leader, it would be all the more reason to pray to God for them. God will make them who they need to be in order that they “keep watch over our souls.”
God can, and will, also have our leadership be joyful in doing the good works pleasing in God’s sight. As one who served in the Marines for thirty years under all kinds of leaders, and now being led by a faithful bishop and a loving parish vestry, I know firsthand that prayer for leaders work.
Leaders (including myself) are often conflicted about how priorities should be set, but prayer to God for right judgment always helps. I can say to you honestly that praying for leaders makes a good and positive difference. The big thing to overcome is that we must really “want” them to be better, to do good works for the people they serve. We can’t hold grudges or wish ill upon them. But rather, work with God for their improvement. If we didn’t have people we wouldn’t need leaders. So it is really for the people that we are praying. And when (not if) the leader improves, relish in the pride of working with God that changed him or her. And you know what? They didn’t even see it coming. Bless their hearts.
On a personal note, I will be away from my laptop to attend my grandson’s funeral and therefore will take a break from this blog for about 3 days (Friday through Sunday: February 11 to 13). It will be the first break in about 3 years but I feel it is necessary in order to be totally present with family.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John