Morning Prayer: Spiritual Ministry

Valley of Jezreel looking down from Mt. Carmel

Morning prayer in 1 Corinthians 14:1-12

Read: Verse 3 – But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Paul contrasts the personally edifying practice of speaking in tongues with the other-benefitting practice of prophesying. I’m drawn to the three words (strengthening, encouraging and comforting) here as ways my ministry of writing, speaking, spiritual direction, retreat leading, and consulting might benefit others.

  • I want people to grow strong, powerful, energized, and capable.
  • I want people to be find courage, be bold, and take initiative.
  • I want people to learn to find the comfort they need in the Lord, rather than running from their pain, numbing it, or pretending it isn’t there.

Reflect: Verse 12 – So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. Being eager to exercise gifts of the Spirit is a welcome, good thing. Paul’s encouragement, though, is that I not be self-serving in their practice. I want to be blessed by the Spirit with insights, compassion, energy, and whatever else would bless the body of Christ. Spiritual formation must not just be about filling my cup, but about causing my cup to overflow for the good of others.

Respond: I’m saddened at my way, at times, of exercising spiritual gifts and engaging spiritual practices that mostly ends with me. As an introvert, I have a bias for inwardness and solitariness. I have to acknowledge that. In itself, as part of my life, that isn’t necessarily bad. But I can isolate myself in ways that disconnect me from the rest of the body.

My prayer: “Father, I deeply desire for Your Spirit to fill me, energize me, enlighten me, and guide me in ways so that others are blessed more and more. Save me from serving myself. Direct me to be an “overflower” of that which You pour into my life.”

Rest: “Follow the way of love.”

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