Thank you Pastor Dan for giving me the opportunity to return and write devotions for our Men's Ministry for the month of January. I hope the break recharges your batteries because I know that writing devotions can become a grind, even when you enjoy it. David Baldner
What's the single greatest thing anyone has ever done for you? A job? An act of kindness? Taking a burden for you and from you to give you relief? Paid a compliment on your or on your family? As I look back over a life of almost 60 years now, I can think of many, many acts directed toward me that put a smile on my face. Being a young educator and finding guidance from an old gentleman in the church I went to, who taught me a great deal about thinking and leadership, is one act I remember. He taught me how to build a fishing rod, and he taught me how to fish (my dad did too, but we didn't know the Gulf Coast like this fine man did).
Another thing that this man did for which I will forever be grateful is he taught me how to pray. How to talk to God the Father and approach Him. How to have a conversation with God. His prayers always opened, "Gracious and Merciful God...."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great Lutheran theologian, borrows from 1 Thessalonians 1: 2 - 3 where Paul writes, "We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before God your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." Bonhoeffer says, "Above all, we must not neglect the greatest service that is left to us, our faithful daily intercession." (The Way to Freedom) Not in the very least, but most importantly, we should pray for one another.
My brothers, I am sorry to tell each of you that I often fail at prayer for my brothers in the faith, being thankful each day for the blessings you bring to me of friendship, conversation, and acts of faith. May we each take time in our day to lift each other up in prayer regardless of our status, how we feel about one another, or our differences we may have. As brothers in faith, we do share the most important aspect of life, faith in Christ Jesus. May we constantly and daily keep each other in prayer as men, husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, grandsons, and friends.
Hope Men's Ministry