I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through Pete Scazzero’s book The Emotionally Healthy Church. Where as other books on the church address logistical and structural issues in regards to church and leadership, Scazzero’s book strikes a very different tone. The central thesis in this book is, “Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while being emotionally immature.”
In our prayer guide now, we include these five areas of personal need. In prayer guide, we usually stick with (1) physical needs, and (2) spiritual needs in relation to events, programs, and missionaries. Yet, below are the five areas we should focus on when we pray and minister the Word.
- Physical: Pray for physical issues such as physical illnesses. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him” (James 5:14).
- Emotional: Jesus expressed emotions by shedding tears, being filled with joy, grief, anger, sadness, compassion, sorrow, astonishment, wonder, and distress (Matthew 26:37; Mark 3:5; 6:6; Luke 7:9, 7:13; 10:21; 12:50; 19:41; Mark 3:5; 14:34; John 11:35). Let us pray for each other as we help each other through these all-too-real emotional needs that arise.
- Relational/Social: Jesus tells us to make sure we are reconciled to one another and to love one another well (see Matthew 5:21-48). Pray that our relational obstacles are overcome with the love and forgiveness of Christ.
- Mental/Intellectual: Jesus deals with our fears and our anxieties by reminding us of our relationship to Him and how that identity applies to all of life (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-7). Let us pray that we would bring our fears to Christ!
- Spiritual: Let us pray that we would “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). And also pray for others who do not know Christ that we would be an instrument to make Christ known to them.
What are some ways we can pray for you from the paradigm above?