Being, First, a Son of God

I am reading On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg.  This has been an extremely convicting read thus far.  Chapter by chapter they tag-team the topic of pastoral ministry.  Far from professionalization, however, the emphasis has been on the undershepherd’s primary relationship to God – a son.  In chapter 4, the duo addresses the priority of prayer in the private and public life of the pastor.  While I underlined the majority of the chapter, two sentences at the beginning caught my heart – it applies not only to prayer but also to Scriptural devotion (the theme of the next chapter): 

“More important than being a shepherd or teacher is being a son of God.  Prayer is the principal expression of our relationship to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (p. 65)

The point addresses a frequent reality for those pastoring and those aspiring to be such: the busyness of the ministry often restricts one’s prayers to those of a pastoral emphasis; meanwhile, prayer as our primary privilege as children and the avenue of our personal relationship with God is set aside.  Ironically, when our primary identity as sons of God is neglected and we no longer pray to God personally as a son to his Father, our pastoral prayers are weakened to point of powerlessness.  Let us beware of such professionalization, not neglecting the reality that we are, first, sons of God.

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