We expect our pastors to take prayerful interest in our problems and needs. Consequently, the pastor often carries a burden for almost every family and individual that the Lord assigns to him, but who prays for his needs? He is human too and he needs our prayers. What a blessing when someone says to him in private, “Pastor, you always have a place in my prayers and I’ll be glad to pray for any special needs of yours.”
A delegation of American pastors asked Charles Spurgeon the secret for his success. In response, Spurgeon led them to the lower level of his meeting house and quietly opened the door. The visitors saw over 400 people praying for God’s blessing and power to rest upon their pastor who would stand in the pulpit to preach the Word of God that night. “There, Gentlemen,” said Spurgeon, “is the secret for my success.”
The Apostle Paul, a man of deep prayer, begged the church to pray for him. His ardent request was, “I beseech you, brethren…that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” Romans 15:30. (cf. Ephesians 6:18-20; 2 Corinthians 1:8-12).
No matter how well you pay your pastor, praise him or work for him, it is only through earnest, strategic prayer that you can ever really help him be an effective minister in the hands of Almighty God.
Every pastor or sent man of God needs prayer for his personal needs, for spiritual wisdom and power, for his family and for his ministry. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you as you pray daily for your pastor and watch God work.
Pray that your pastor will keep a teachable spirit…that he will have the grace to receive criticism and profit by it…that he will have a servant’s heart… that he will cultivate true humility in his walk, depending on God, not upon his education or personality…that he will learn both from his successes and his failures and give God the glory in all things.
Since we live in this carnal world with all its open and hidden pressures, pray that your pastor will keep his eyes on the Lord and serve with singleness of heart and will not become conceited over success or depressed by failure. Pray he will remember that Christians “march to a different drummer” … that our value system is different from that of the world.
Pray that your pastor will be given wisdom to know how to deal with his own frustrations, with the lack of gifts in certain areas, with well meaning but stubborn people… that he will be patient with himself and others as he fulfills his varied responsibilities… that he will walk in true humility for it is no easier for a pastor to say, “I am wrong” or “I am sorry,” than it is for anyone else… that sacrificial love will be shown in all interpersonal relationships … that he will receive the forgiveness, love and support of those he serves.
Pray that your pastor will find real joy in his ministry in spite of spiritual struggles and problems (cf. John 16:24; 17:13). Joy is one of the significant hallmarks of the Christian – joy, great joy and peace, in the midst of and despite all circumstances (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, James 1:2-4,1 Peter 1: 6-9).
Pray for your pastor’s health … that he will learn God’s lessons from any sickness … that his health will be restored in God’s good time … that he will maintain a balanced exercise and recreation program. Intercede also for safety and protection as he travels and witnesses to the unsaved.
Since the pastor must prioritize and guard his time, be self-disciplined, and learn to say “no”, pray that the Holy Spirit will make him sensitive in these matters … that he will know God’s will in dealing with role conflicts and stress which could lead to “burnout”.
If the Pastor is married, God’s people need to pray … that husband and wife will be devoted to one another… that they maintain a scriptural family–seeking God’s wisdom for the discipline of their children. Pray also for balance in time and attention given to his wife and children as he strives to provide good leadership for them.
Prayer is needed as your pastor and his family face daily temptations, times of stress, peer pressures, and Satanic attacks because they are special targets of the enemy. On the other hand, pray that the church leaders will realize the personal, spiritual, physical, material and social needs of the pastor and his family so that they may not need to become overly preoccupied with the affairs of this life (cf. 2 Timothy 2:3-4; 1Timothy 5:17-18).
Pray that your pastor will “walk in the light” with Jesus daily and will have the power of the Spirit in all phases of his life and ministry. Pray that the pastor will always remember these three facts concerning spiritual vitality: (1) the ministry is spiritual warfare, not a job or a profession; (2) life’s pressures will always result in spiritual decline unless he is careful to maintain a close walk with the Lord; (3) he must have divine revelation and enlightenment. Because the pastor’s hardest job will be to speak God’s Word and not his own; to teach God’s Truth and not religion’s traditions; to proclaim the Gosple of Christ and abide in his Word. He needs to grow in Christ-like maturity, realizing who he is in Christ and who he is accountable to. (Ezekiel 33:7-9)
Pray that your pastor will understand the absolute necessity for prayer and that he will place a premium on his prayer life despite his very busy schedule. Constant communication and conversation with the Father is key. Pray that your pastor will model an effective prayer life.
Pray that he will resist all sexual and immoral temptations—remembering who he is and whom he serves — the Holy God … that his words, his actions and especially his thought life will set a Godly example, and not pave the way for him and others to fall into immorality.
Above all pray that your pastor will appropriate the full armor of God as outlined in Ephesians 6:10-18, being constantly aware of Satan’s strategy at all times. Pastors are subject to the three-fold satanic temptation of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, just as everyone else (1 John 2:16). Pray that the pastor will continually realize that victory comes only from Christ … That he will be prepared in the use of spiritual weapons and use them in dealing with Satanic opposition, oppression and possession.
Pray that he will develop a circle of baptized, Holy Spirit filled friends with whom he can be open with and accountable to… Pastors need personal time and confidential friends just like everyone else.
Furthermore, pray that your pastor will not abandon his God-given right and responsibility to counsel others in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as God may direct. Pray that he will not surrender his authority to that of the world’s theological philosophers, spiritualists and psychological gurus.
As you pray for your pastor you will discover that your hearts are knit together in a common purpose. You will understand that he, like Elijah, is “a man, just like us” yet he is the man who has been appointed by the Holy Spirit as your pastor (cf. Acts 20:28). Don’t pray “at him”, but for him, and as you do, you will experience the marvelous way in which the Holy Spirit will bring to mind special needs about which you should pray.
Finally, should you experience frustration in praying for your pastor, study and use the prayers of the Apostle Paul; they give much fuel for prayer. Please note: Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21; Philippians 1:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 and 2 Corinthians 1:9-11.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you might have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” – Colossians 1:9-12 NIV
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