In the post introducing Faith Journalling, one of the questions I put forth (not only to my internet audience, but to my church members) was:

Do you see elements of the life of Simon (the magician in Acts 8) in your own life? Is this good or bad? How can you improve your life using this text as a guide?

One of the things the past the 2½ years has taught me is that we probably expect too much out of our ministers and don't show enough appreciation. The part that really struck me about the story of Simon the magician is Acts 8:24:

But Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."

Simon is either unwilling to pray for himself or he wants the apostles prayers in addition to his own. But the tone of his request makes me think the former. While it's not wrong to ask a minister to pray for you; how often do we do so without praying for ourselves? How often do we ask ministers to do things (evangelize, visit, read/study scripture, etc.) that we don't do or aren't willing to do for ourselves?

Our relationship with Christ is a gift: it can't be bought and it can't be earned. Are we trying to strengthen our relationship by paying someone to study the word, pray for us, and preach to us; or are we putting in the effort that we need in order to build our relationship with Christ?

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