A good friend of mine is a former military wife. Her husband was injured and is now a civilian, but we have had many conversations about some similarities between being a military wife and being a ministry wife.
Something she has taught me is OPSEC – Operations Security. Not being in the military myself, I don’t fully understand the bigger picture of OPSEC, but I do understand this: within the military, critical details about operations cannot be shared in order to protect our troops. This means family members often don’t know details about what their loved one is doing, or even if they do know, they cannot share those details with others. However, military families often offer support and encouragement to one another, without needing to know any details, knowing that whatever is happening falls under the umbrella of OPSEC.
My friend has invited me to not hesitate to let her know when I need “OPSEC prayer.” In other words, on days when ministry is especially difficult, when things are happening at our church which I cannot share, when my husband or my family has been hurt but I can’t explain it, or any similar circumstance, I can simply text her asking for OPSEC prayer. She will know that we need ministry prayer, respect the fact that I can’t share any details, and pray for us.
I have struggled with asking for prayer from church friends in the past because I often can’t explain why we need prayer. Yet, I know it is biblical to reach out for prayer support of our ministry. Rather than deal with the possibility of people asking me uncomfortable questions about why we need prayer, I have just remained silent.
The Apostle Paul asked for prayer in his letters many times. Some of his prayer requests were for: boldly proclaiming the gospel (Eph. 6:19), God to open doors (Col. 4:3), speaking clearly (Col. 4:4), deliverance from wicked men (2 Thess. 3:2), and more.
Perhaps my favorite prayer request of Paul’s is 1 Thessalonians 5:25, “Brothers, pray for us.” Paul didn’t unpack “what” or “why.” He simply told the Thessalonians to pray.
Paul also tells us in Galatians 6:2 to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” My friend has helped me see the value in reaching out to friends in the church and inviting them to bear my burdens by asking for OPSEC prayer. There are days when I may text some friends and simply say, “We need some ministry prayer – will you pray for us please?” I love that these women don’t hesitate to say, “Absolutely!” and I know we are being covered in prayer.
Pastor’s wife, do you have friends who you can reach out to for OPSEC prayer? I encourage you to start doing so, if you don’t already. Take a few minutes to talk to some friends at church and ask them if they would be willing to be your OPSEC prayer partners – ready to lift you and your family up without needing to know any details.
Friend of a pastor’s wife, are you ready and able to be an OPSEC prayer partner? I encourage you to lift up your pastor and his wife regardless, but also to consider having a conversation with your pastor’s wife, letting her know that you are willing to be that prayer partner who is available to pray without knowing any details.
How can you bear one another’s burdens today?
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