“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.¨
– 1 Thessalonians 5:1-18 NIV
Losing your joy is not an acceptable position in which to live; however, years ago in my ministry
journey, I found myself in such a place. I remember during a desperate moment saying to God: “If I
cannot have the joy I had when I first entered ministry, I do not want to go any further.¨ It was
during this unfavorable time in my life that I gave time for seeking spiritual renewal. I traveled to a
conference on the other side of the globe. It was at this event I discovered how to once again drink
from the fountain of joy.
One morning during the conference, our leader instructed us in the importance of prayer. It
was during that teaching session that God revealed to me that he wanted me to get in the game.
That was a familiar phase, which perked my interest.
I was taken back in time to when I was an active teenager deeply involved in high school
sports. I was a freshman and had been allowed to suit up with the varsity football team. I was
standing on the sidelines rooting for my team mates when I heard the coach yell my last name
followed by the phrase Get in the game. My heart raced with excitement as well as some fear as I
entered my first high school varsity game.
We all want to be in the game when it comes to ministry. We who have been doing ministry
for some time can fall into the trap of thinking that being in the game of ministry is about what we
do. Yet as I sat in this conference many miles from my ministry assignment I was hearing God say,
Get in the game. As I contemplated the instruction from God, the question in my mind was, You mean
I’m not in the game? The immediate responding thought was, When it comes to prayer you are not in the
It was on that day that I committed to God to get into the game. The essence of ministry is
prayer. It is where vision is birthed, direction understood, correction made, and empowerment
given. As you review the saints of the New Testament church, notice that they were men and
women who were in the game. For them, prayer was not just another incident in life; it was the way
of life. Therefore, Paul would say, Pray without ceasing. John the revelator used the phrase, I was in the
spirit and I saw or heard or he showed me.
When I am in consistent communion in the spirit with God, I find there is joy in the Lord. It
is a daily time of refreshment and renewal. It is an exciting place to be, in the game. Prayer is where
the game of life and ministry are won or lost. Therefore, I urge you to get in the game!
Lord, I do not want to sit on the side lines. I want to be a contributor to the work of the Kingdom. Lord, as I spend
time in your presence, help me to see clearly your game plan and my part in helping to fulfill the plan. Amen
– Pastor Claude Robold, Pastor, New Covenant Church, Middletown, Ohio