It’s that time of year again. The kids head back to school, and a new year of Bible studies begin. Women’s ministry teams meet to discuss and plan events, retreats, and activities for the year. Goals are set, Bible studies chosen, activities reserved on the calendar.
For women’s ministry leaders, as we gather together with our teams, and as we consider and discuss what this next year in ministry will hold, may we first pause and pray. Bringing our women and our ministries before the throne of grace is the most important thing we can do. We can plan the best events, choose the best studies, and provide the best ministry opportunities to our women, but if we have not prayed about any of it, then God is not in it. When prayer isn’t the strength of our ministry, our ministry becomes about us rather than about God. When prayer isn’t where we start, then we cannot care about where we end.
Prayer is essential to us as believers, as necessary as the air we breathe. It’s one of the ways we commune with God. It’s how God encourages our faith. It’s one of the means God uses to carry out His will. Prayer is also one of our weapons against evil forces. And through our prayers, God builds His Church. To that end, here is a prayer for the start of the ministry year.
A Prayer for the Ministry Year
Father in Heaven,
We come before You grateful and thankful that another year is upon us, another year filled with opportunities to strengthen and build up Your Church through our ministry to women. You are a good God and have a perfect plan for us this year. You rule over all things. You know all things. You know the hearts of the women we serve. You know just what they need to grow in their faith and love for You. We rest and trust in who You are and know that You will use us to carry out your plan for these women. This is Your Church and Your women, and we desire to glorify You as we discuss and plan this year.
Forgive us for when we live as though this is our ministry and not yours. Forgive us for giving into the temptation to make ministry about us and what we want, rather than about You. Forgive us for striving in our own strength in our ministry. Forgive us for when ministry becomes a checklist of to-dos to finish, rather than an investment in the souls of women. We thank you for the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ shed for us. May the work of Christ for us be central in our lives and ministry.
As we make our plans, grant us wisdom and discernment. Help us to know what our women need. Help us to choose Bible studies that will help our women grow in faith and in greater love for their Savior. We pray that our studies would be Christ-focused and Christ-exalting. We pray for discernment to find studies that are theologically sound. We pray also that You would raise up teachers who love Your Word, teach well, and will point our women to their hope in the gospel.
As we plan activities for the year, whatever they may be, we pray that You would use them to encourage the women, to unite them in fellowship, and to build up the Church. We pray that You would help us to identify women on the sidelines who need fellowship and encouragement. We pray that those who are hurting would feel welcomed and loved. We pray that those who are battling temptation and sin would find safety in our ministry and that we would walk alongside them in their battles.
We pray also for us as leaders, help us to work hard, but also to rest hard. May we learn to need one another, rather than trying to tackle everything on our own. Help us to find balance in our labors in serving the women in our church with taking the time to receive rest and refreshment for ourselves. We pray that we would be united as a team, seeking to do what Paul exhorted the Philippians “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (2:2).
Above all, may we glorify You in all our ministry goals and plans for this year. May all that we do as a ministry shine a light in this dark world, so that the world might know who You are and what You have done for us in Christ.
We thank You for the privilege to serve You and Your Church.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.