Read: 1 Samuel 12
Consider: The Israelites pleaded with Samuel to appoint a king over them. They wanted to be like the other nations around them, yet they forgot that God was their king. The Israelites were content to accept the authority of a human being, but were rebellious against the authority of God.
Saul was finally anointed as king of Israel and this meant that Samuel ultimately handed over his responsibilities to Saul. Although Samuel relinquished his earthly authority to Saul, he didn’t relinquish his spiritual concern for the people of Israel. Samuel knew that although his new position was to be ‘behind the scenes’, Saul and the people of Israel still needed his prayers and teaching. Praying for the people wasn’t a new discipline for Samuel, but a continuation of what he had done throughout his time of leadership.
What is your position in the church fellowship? Are you ‘front of house’, or ‘behind the scenes’? Either way you have a responsibility to pray for others. Church leaders and members alike have a responsibility to pray that the church will be faithful to God. They also have a responsibility to teach ‘… the way that is good and right’.
Perhaps you are a church leader facing retirement and fearing the change in role. Although retirement will mean that you will not be the pastor any longer, you will have an increased amount of time to pray for your former congregation. Retirement can bring with it the time to write all the things you promised yourself you would do, but never got round to doing. While your direct teaching may diminish, sharing insights from God’s word means that you can continue to teach what is good and right. This change in role will bring many challenges about how you use your time. Don’t squander it, but use it wisely.
Pray: Father, we pray for all church leaders facing retirement. For those who are fearful, give them an assurance that you see their value in Christ, not based on their working role. May they use the time in retirement wisely to bring glory to you. Amen