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Praying in Midst of the Latest Scandal

"We are totally vulnerable to any temptation and absolutely dependent upon God for our strength."


By now no doubt you've heard the accusations against Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church, in Colorado Springs, Colorado; also leader of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is accused of abusing drugs and paying for a three-year homosexual relationship.

… since this scandal impacts us emotionally … we felt it prudent to offer some pastoral guidance.

In the midst of unproven allegations, the accuser's failed polygraph test, and Ted's denials and partial admissions, it is difficult to know what to believe. It may take considerable time for the full truth to be known. Others will be entrusted with the responsibility of judging these matters. Our first response is to pray.

PrayGTA is very intentional about focusing these updates on the GTA issues but since this scandal impacts us emotionally (many of us have been very blessed thru Ted's ministry), and in many other ways, we felt it prudent to offer some pastoral guidance.

Eddie and Alice Smith of the US Prayer Center,*1) and good friends of Ted, offer such valuable guidance, that rather than reinvent the wheel, we simply copy it here.

1.Pray for the truth to be revealed, the lies to be exposed, and the enemy to be defeated.

2. Pray for Ted and Gayle. Ask God to comfort Pastor Ted and give him the moral courage to be bold if innocent, and humble if guilty. Pray for his comfort today. Whatever the outcome, his life and ministry will never be the same. But God can and will use Ted for His glory, as Ted responds biblically.

Pray for precious Gayle, his wife. Even if these charges are false, she is suffering the pain of them today. If any are true, she will be wounded even more deeply. The layers of emotional and mental turmoil for a wife faced with what Gayle faces today are many. Ted is her husband, her pastor, and the father of her children. Her pain is unimaginable and without Christ, it would be unbearable. Please pray for Ted and Gayle today.

3. Pray for their five dear children. I am a PK. We preacher's kids often relate to God through the image of our fathers. Ted is their father and their pastor. He is "the image of God" to them. His spiritual influence on them is complex. The enemy understands the generational issues involved. He knows full well that the next generation is capable of much more than the current generation. Pray that God's plan and purpose for each of their young lives remains secure.

4. Pray for Ross Parsley, worship leader and now acting pastor of New Life Church. Ross is a godly, talented man who will need remarkable wisdom to step into this difficult role. Pray also for his wife and family. This new responsibility will impact them all.

5. Pray for New Life Church. NLC is an amazing congregation, the largest in Colorado—more than 14,000 members! I've walked through similar challenges to much smaller congregations. These tragedies have many complicated effects on people's lives. Pray for the church.

6. Pray for the fallout. None of us knows for sure what the damages will be. Pray for the immature believer, who will be wounded or angered; for the mature believer who will be broken-hearted; for the youth whose faith will be challenged; and for the lost, some who were on the brink of believing for their eternal salvation who will now be tempted not to believe.

7. Pray for your pastor(s), and for all pastors. Men in ministry are little more than boys dressed in business suits. We are totally vulnerable to any temptation and absolutely dependent upon God for our strength. None of us are worthy to serve God and His Church. Any who think otherwise are destined to fall. God's strength can ONLY be perfected in our weakness. To the degree that we feel capable, we are dangerous and we are in danger. Pride always comes before a fall.

8. Pray for issues like drug abuse, homosexuality, and "homosexual marriage." Homosexual "marriage" is the ultimate oxymoron.

9. Pray for the election, especially the local Colorado Springs election which is extremely close. Pray that God's people will be moved to the polls.

10. Pray for yourself. We must pray for ourselves and "take heed lest we fall." Thank God that He is preserving you blameless and will present you faultless. What a God!

11. Pray for Mike Jones, Ted Haggard's accuser. He admits to advertising for homosexual partners on the Internet. It's difficult to believe (as he says) that he was regularly involved with Ted for three years and didn't know who he was until he saw him on television. The bottom line is Mike Jones needs Christ. God loves him and has a plan and purpose for his life. Pray that he will find Christ and fulfill that purpose. We are to bless those who curse us and pray for those who mistreat us. I personally believe that when we do, it releases God's angels to approach them in power -- heaping coals of fire on their heads (a good thing). Mike Jones is a victim, not the enemy.

12. Above all, pray for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done in America as it is in heaven!

Please forward this message to five (5) praying friends.

Endnotes

1) Eddie Smith, Eddie and Alice Smith Ministries, 7710-T Cherry Park Dr, Ste 224, Houston, TX; (713) 466-4009; www.usprayercenter.org; usprayercenter@cs.com.

Originally published in the PrayGTA Update, November 4, 2006.

 

 
 
 
 

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