Do you ever wonder what a Saturday night looks like for the pastor as he is preparing to bring forth The Word on Sunday morning? You may not have ever given it a thought. Let me give you a peek...
My hubby is a firm believer that Sunday morning worship begins Saturday evening and for the pastor's family of a small church, this means there's lots to do!
Pastor Superman is contemplative usually and slightly withdrawn as he is thinking about his sermon to deliver in the morning. On the average Saturday night he makes a run about 9pm to the local donut shop where he picks up the day's "waste" - one man's waste is another man's breakfast! :) We serve day old donuts for free on Sunday morning at our church :)
In addition to making sure the kids are freshly bathed, I'm also gathering my song music to lead worship in the morning, I'm laying out clothes, socks, shoes, hair bands, for the appropriate people - making sure hubby's dress clothes are pressed (as needed - I'm a huge advocate for a steam ball in the dryer to drive those wrinkles away!) and hanging for him, and when I'm super organized I'm also trying to make sure the house is presentable and welcoming for company that may end up invited into our home for Sunday lunch!
Now you need to understand - this is my ideal - many weeks this is not the case. There are the occasions that I'm finishing the worship song list Saturday night and emailing the bulletin even after midnight for a couple in our church to print (they are blessed with a laser printer and graciously print the bulletin at lightning speed each week!) when they wake up Sunday morning. There have been plenty of Sunday mornings that we're scrambling for missing socks, shoes, wrinkled dress shirts, etc. I recall those Sundays when I was a kid. It'd be a tense, grumpy Sunday morning and we'd get out of the car at church with smiles on our faces pretending everything was just fine and dandy!
You know what though... the pastor's family can't do that - because when wifey and hubby(aka the pastor) have been arguing or shared terse words because someone didn't get up on time or took too much time in our one and only bathroom, we realize we've let Satan win a battle. Because on those Sundays, my husband is distracted and frustrated and is incapable of getting up to preach when he and I are at odds. In fact, in that moment he's not even qualified to do so because our home is not in order.
I have a confession to make - that's a lot of weight for the pastor's wife to bear. That means come Saturday afternoon, I begin growing a mental list of things that he needs to know about, or a budget we need to discuss, or a late bill that is coming due early in the week... - all of that I have to put off and do my best to be extra gracious and loving and patient for the next 24 hours so that the kids and I are not used by Satan to distract hubby from preaching God's Word.
So on this Saturday night, here's my prayer for my hubby...
Father God, I thank you so much for the gift that you have given me in my husband. I am so very thankful that you brought the two of us together and that we have the opportunity to serve you in ministry as one. I pray that you will put a shield around my husband tonight. I pray that you will begin now preparing his heart and mind to be totally yours - that you would give him a restful night of sleep so that he can wake up feeling refreshed and renewed for the day. I pray that you will begin now by preparing the congregation - I pray for all who will attend service in the morning and that you will also give them a restful night of sleep and the motivation and energy to ready for church in the morning and come ready to worship and hear from you. I pray that as hubby is preaching that you will close his mouth to anything that would be only from him and not from you, and that your message will pass through his lips in an awesome way and that you will receive glory as a result of his service.
I pray that you will put your hand of protection on our home tonight. I pray that you will help my children to sleep through the night so they and I are all rested in the morning. I pray that as we ready our family in the morning for worship, I pray that you will help us to rise on time and ready our family with joy so that we can be an example to our children that they will learn an excitement that comes with preparing to worship with the gathered body of believers.
I pray that you will guard my tongue and attitude in the morning - I pray that you will not allow me to be used by Satan to distract my husband so that I may not hinder your Word from being delivered. I pray that in the morning and even as I ready things tonight, that you will help me to be a helper to him and to my family - that my preparations will not have been in vain, and that I will bring my husband good and not harm tomorrow and each day this week.
It is a blessing and a privilege to serve you in this way and I pray all these things in your most precious and holy name, Amen.