But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:1–3)
Lord Jesus, thank you for the privilege of praying for weary women and men serving in various aspects of the ministry of the gospel. To your occupied throne of grace, we bring missionaries and pastors, worship leaders and counselors, teachers and youth leaders.
Many of them reflect Jonah’s state of heart. In their heads they still know you to be a God who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” But in their hearts, they feel disconnected and disillusioned, angry and confused. Have mercy, on them, Lord. Bring your hand and heart to bear in palpable ways.
Only you know all the issues. You know what’s under the anger, what’s compounding the contempt, and what’s fueling the flight. Meet your beloved servants right where they are. We pray for their spouses and children as well, for sometimes it’s the family members who suffer ministry pangs the most.
Comfort them with your compassion, refresh them by your Spirit, and provide the counsel they need. Free them from self-pity and from medicating their pain foolishly. Grant good sleep, fresh perspective, and renewed hope. Tune their hearts to hear the truth of the gospel more clearly than the lies of the devil and their own self-narration.
Until you return, Satan will relentlessly attack servants of the gospel. He’ll do anything and everything within his power to bring havoc, heartache, and hell. Quicken us to pray and show us how to encourage them. Make your beauty, love, and presence increasingly real to all of us, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.