A prayer I wrote using quotes from chapter 7 - Servants - of Paul Tripp's Lead:12 Gospel Principles for Leadership In the Church
Remind me that joy does not come from
It is found in you.
I know that in so many ways, in my thoughts, actions, and attitudes, my default idol is the idol of self, and because of this I desire
and I crave what I find comfortable, enjoyable, and exciting.
Help me fight this.
Remind me that my struggle of selfishness is the focus not only of my rescue and forgiveness as it relates to my justification but also the transforming work of my sanctification.
God, you are sovereign - You are in control of where I am as it relates to life and ministry. You are in control of the things I have been tasked with here. Complaints that I have about my circumstances are against you and your plan. My grumbling is against the one who is Lord over my circumstances.
In thinking about service to one another, God, I am thankful for the church, your church. I am thankful for the churches we have been a part of. I am thankful for Trinity, our current church, and I am thankful for our future church family.
As I prayerfully think about the church being a chosen gathering of unfinished people grappling with selfishness of sin and the seduction of temptation, I thank you for the fact that you have blessed us with a great church family. I pray that we would be used to yank others out of self-sufficiency and self-obsession and that others would do the same for us.
Thank you for calling me to deny myself even though it is impossible to do by myself. God, you are freeing me from my bondage to sin and self.
I pray that my focus would be on you and not myself.
The joy of a true servant is not control; the joy of a true servant is not acclaim; the joy of a true servant is not comfort or ease; and of course, the joy of a true servant is not position. What gives a servant joy in being a servant is service. (129)
Why do we love to be known as servants while not always loving the call to serve? (129)
I am required to face the fact that, like every other sinner, my default idol is the idol of self, and because it is, my default craving is for what I find comfortable, enjoyable, and exciting. (130)
It takes almighty power to free us from the depth of our self-allegiance. (130)
It is also vital for every leader to remember that the struggle of selfishness is the focus not only of the rescue and forgiveness of our justification but also of the transforming work of our sanctification. (130)
True leaders don't think that the ministry they have been called to lead and those they have been called to lead belong to them. A true leader knows that people are not the objects of his power control but the focus of his sacrifice and service. (132)
It's so hard for us to willingly patiently, joyfully, lovingly, and sacrificially serve. (135)
God is sovereign, and he writes your story, and because he does, he is in control of where you have been positioned in ministry and all the things you are tasked with there. Your complaint about the schedule is never just about the schedule, your complaint about exhaustion is never just about how tired you are, and your complaint that you never seem to get the break you think you need is never just about time. All horizontal complaints have a vertical component. (135)
Grumbling about horizontal difficulty is at once a complaint against the one who lords over those difficulties. (136)
What is the church? It's a chosen gathering of unfinished people, still grappling with the selfishness of sin and the seduction of temptation, living in a fallen world, where there is deception and dysfunction all around. (136)
The church is intended to be messy and chaotic because the mess is intended to yank us out of self-sufficiency and self-obsession to become people who really do love God and our neighbors. (136).
We want greater power and control that is, greater sovereignty over our ministry lives than a servant will ever have. (137)
Self-focused leadership results in demotivating discontentment, desire for control, and a loss of joy - all of which is an indicator of a fundamental misunderstanding of the position and lifestyle to which you have been called. (137)
The call to a life of joyful servitude and willing suffering is itself a grace. In calling me to deny myself, God is freeing me from my bondage to me. Self-focus never leads to happiness, it never produces contentment, and it never results in a satisfied heart. The more a leader has himself in focus, the more he thinks about how ministry inconveniences him, and the less he will experience true joy and lasting contentment. (140)
The pathway to freedom is servanthood, the pathway to greatness is slavery, and the pathway to deep and lasting joy - joy that people and circumstances cannot take away - is denying yourself. (141)