Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 2 Cor. 11:28-29

Lord Jesus, Paul’s honesty about his stress, pressure and weakness is refreshing. But it’s also a heads-up for us. Paul knew the Gospel puts an end to all posing and pretending. He also knew his need of friends like Titus (2 Cor. 7:5-7), and the prayers of his brothers and sisters (2 Cor. 1:10-11).

May we be those kinds of friends, encouragers, and intercessors for our pastors, church planters, and missionary friends. The need has never been greater in my lifetime.

Jesus, I remember seasons as a pastor when my pain was much greater than my hope. I felt more shame than your nearness, more like a failure than Abba’s child. I couldn’t get unstuck, and was too proud to admit I was depressed.

I could still help others understand the riches of your grace; but emotionally, I was a grace-pauper. I remember waking up, wishing I hadn’t. At times, I didn’t long for heaven, just to disappear—not to exist anymore.

Thank you for the friends you used, the providence you orchestrated, the kindness you showed. I never want to be that unhealthy again—that alone, that busy, that disconnected from you.

Jesus, show us how to care for those in your service, And in doing so, free us to see our brokenness, own our limits, and get the help each of us needs. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.