2 Kings 6:1-7 (Part 2) – Let’s Pray About That, Right Now…

Posted: May 8, 2019 in 11-1 Kings

2 Kings 6:1-7 (Part 2 of 2)

The Floating Ax Head

Last night at Calvary Church, we had our quarterly membership introduction meeting. We hold this meeting for any of the new people that have been coming to church at Calvary to have an opportunity to see what membership means at Calvary. People that come usually have been coming to Calvary for a few weeks to a few months and are beginning to see Calvary has their home church. In this meeting, we have a meal together and then we introduce the staff and then our senior pastor reviews the history of the church, the mission and vision of the church, and then review the Christian values that we hold dear. Last night we had 35 new prospective members. After the meeting is over, the Senior Pastor then takes them on a tour of our 60,000 square foot facility. Over the next two weeks, we, as the pastors of the church will meet with each member or member couple and have one-on-one conversations with them about their own specific situation and how that applies to them being a part of the body at Calvary.

With 35 people for a meal and a meeting, there is of course quite a bit of logistics that go along with the meeting, not the least of which is cleaning up afterwards. As Pastor Tim, our senior and founding pastor, is taking the group on the tour of the building, the rest of the Calvary team (including the staff pastors) all pitch in to clean up the meeting room, take things back to the Calvary Café kitchen, and so on. As we were cleaning up, I came back into the meeting room to grab one of the carts on which we had the soft drinks and ice. I noticed one person from the prospective member group who was still in the meeting room, sitting there by herself (her husband I guess had gone on the group tour). I had noticed during the meeting that she had an ice pack that she had been holding against her neck during the whole meeting. So, now she was just sitting there, looking as if she did not feel all that well. It sparked my interest so I asked her what was wrong. Sure, I was supposed to be helping clean up, but here right in front of me was a ministry opportunity with a prospective member.

I asked her what was wrong because it was obvious that she did not feel good. I told her that I had observed during our meal/meeting that she was holding an ice pack to her neck so I knew that she did not feel good. She then proceeded to explain that she had a migraine headache. She said that she used to get them frequently when they lived in Texas but this was the first one that had fallen on her since they moved to The Quad Cities and that it was a doozy. She said that she had debated as to whether she would even come tonight or not. She said though that she wanted to be here so that she and her husband could experience the meeting together. At that moment, I had a choice. The easy thing to do would have been to say the old Christian line, “Well, I will be praying for you!” and then go on about the busy-ness of cleaning up the meeting room. We say that to people all the time. We say, “I’ll be praying for you!” The phrase indicates that you will do it later, but not right now.

One of the things that the Lord has impressed upon during my time here at Calvary is NOT to wait til later to pray for someone. Instead of saying “I’ll be praying for you!”, do it right then and there! Because the thing that I have found, at least for me, is when you say, “I’ll be praying for you!” it is most likely that you won’t do it later. You’ll forget. If you are like me, life happens and then you forget to pray for that person. What God has impressed upon me while we have been here is when these opportunities arise, stop and pray. Stop and minister to that person. So, the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for this lady right there about her health issue. I followed His leading and asked her if I could pray for. I did. Then, thanked me with a heartfelt thank you and we talked about migraines some more.

I told her that I had experience with them, not personally but with my first wife. She used to have them occasionally and she would be supersensitive to light and sound and she would often be so stricken by them that it would make her literally sick to her stomach and would be throwing up often during these episodes. She said she could relate. I told her that I was proud of her for soldiering through and coming to the meeting. The whole sequence is what pastoral care is all about. Demonstrating to the faithful that you love and care about them. I am glad that I stopped what I was doing and ministered to this woman. It created a feeling in her that even in this big church that we notice the little things and that we will take time to pray for you in the midst of the busy-ness of church. The whole sequence reminds me why I became a pastor – the pastoral care of the flock, recognizing their needs, and letting the Holy Spirit use me to minister to them. It would have been easier to say, “I’ll pray for you” and move on but in that moment ministry to an individual was the more important thing.

That’s the thing that struck me this morning as I read through this passage, 2 Kings 6:1-7 for a second time – how Elisha took a moment out of his time to minister to one of his students. Sure, Elisha was a big important prophet and probably had other things to do that day, but he stopped and helped one of the faithful. Let’s read the passage now:

6 One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, “As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small. 2 Let’s go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet.”

“All right,” he told them, “go ahead.”

3 “Please come with us,” someone suggested.

“I will,” he said. 4 So he went with them.

When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees. 5 But as one of them was cutting a tree, his ax head fell into the river. “Oh, sir!” he cried. “It was a borrowed ax!”

6 “Where did it fall?” the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface. 7 “Grab it,” Elisha said. And the man reached out and grabbed it.

In this passage, we see that, placed in the Bible between the healing of an Aramean and the deliverance of Israel’s army, this miracle shows that Elisha’s personal contact with his students in the group of prophets. Although he had the respect of kings, Elisha never forgot to care for the faithful. It is a reminder to us that we should never let the importance of your work crowd out your concern for human need.

Whether you are a pastor or not, this passage reminds us to that ministry takes intention. It usually doesn’t fit into the flow of our lives. How often do we miss ministry opportunities because we are busy? How often do we let our responsibilities get in the way of ministering to people? We don’t have time and so we miss divinely designed appointments for us to minister to people. I know that we have to get work done whether you are a pastor or a plumber, a minister or a mechanic, a preacher or a teacher, no matter what your profession is, we gotta get stuff done. But we should never let our work, even as pastors managing the activities of your church, become so important to us that we miss our divine appointments to minister to people, to minister to their needs, to let them know that we care, to let them know that we love them. Let us remember that when we take time to minister to people that it lets them know that they are important. Let us remember that when we take time to minister to people that it may be that God has designed this moment specifically so that He can speak to that person by what the Holy Spirit puts on your heart to say. Let us remember that this moment in time may be that intersection of God and that person that begins to change everything. Let us be people, that when the Holy Spirit prompts us to stop and minister to someone, we stop and do it. It may be a game changer without you ever even knowing that it was. Instead of “I’ll be praying for you…” let us be a people who say, “Let’s pray about that right now…”

Amen and Amen.

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