( Please note that we have a link on this page to "Teachers in Tune Prayer Network." We are aware that Christian teachers are valuable leaders as well as pastors. Perhaps later we will provide a link from our index page. Thanks for understanding. God richly bless Godly teachers! They deserve our prayers, respect, and encouragement! Pray for teachers! Miles
PASTORS NEED PRAYER, TOO
by Rev. Will Bruce
We expect our pastors to take prayerful interest in our problems and needs. Rightly so. Consequently, the pastor often carries a burden for almost every family and individual in his congregation, 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."
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 needs prayer for his personal needs, for spiritual wisdom and power, for his family, and for his ministry to the congregation. Do not be overwhelmed by the number of suggested areas for prayer listed in this pamphlet; rather let the Holy Spirit lead you in making selections 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 drum" ... that our value system is different from that of the world.
Pray that your pastor will know how to deal with his own frustrations, with the lack of gifts in certain areas, with well meaning but stubborn people in his congregation ... that he will walk in true brokenness for it is no easier for a pastor to say, "I am wrong" or "I am sorry," than it is for anyone else ... that he will be patient with himself and others as he fulfills his varied responsibilities ... that Calvary love will be shown in all interpersonal relationships ... that he will sense the love and support of his congregation.
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 as he travels.
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".
A pastor and his family live a kind of "fish-bowl" lifestyle. Therefore, God's people need to pray ... that husband and wife will be devoted to one another and will be deeply related to each other ... that he maintain a scriptural family seeking God's wisdom for the discipline of his children. Pray also for balance in time and attention given to his wife and children as he strives to provide good leadership for them.
Pointed 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 just 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 spiritual enlightenment. Because the pastor's hardest job will be to keep spiritually fresh, he needs to grow in Christ-like maturity, realizing who he is in Christ and keep short accounts with God.
Pray that your pastor will understand the absolute necessity for prayer and that he will prioritize his prayer life despite his very busy schedule. Over one hundred years ago, Lord Cecil said, "The greatest menace to ministerial usefulness crouches at the door of the secret place." Pray that your pastor will model an effective prayer life.
Pray that he will resist moral temptation in line with 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 church leaders to whom he is accountable and that he will cultivate the friendship of at least one Godly man (in or out of his congregation) to whom he will be especially open and spiritually accountable in all areas of his life and ministry ... that he will be keenly aware of the effects of his actions on the testimony of our Lord, on the church at large, on his own church leaders and members, as well as on his family and himself and, above all, aware of his accountability to God.
Since the Word of God and the Spirit of God do the lasting work in the church, pray that your pastor will give proper priority to the study of the Word and to prayer. Study in sermon preparation must not be a substitute for personal communion with God nor for a time of private worship. Lord Cecil also said, "The greatest defect in the pastor's life is the lack of the devotional habit." Pray for a prepared pastor as well as a prepared sermon ... that his messages will not reflect human pressures but only the leading of the Holy Spirit ... that the pastor will give a balanced presentation of the Scriptures and not go off on tangents ... that he will present missions and evangelism as emphasized in the scriptures. Christ-Centered and Christ-Exalting Preaching Pray that the pastor's preaching will be Christ-centered and Christ-exalting to edify the congregation and increase their love for the Saviour and devotion to Him ... that he will help them develop a life of worship.
Pray that in all his relationships with church leaders and members he will be open, flexible, understanding, and forgiving ... that he will learn to be patient ... and that he will make himself available to his people. Pray he will truly have a heart of compassion and be a good listener, balancing tenderness with wisdom, and love with firmness when needful.
Pray that with boldness, tenderness and love, your pastor will confront sin. Pray that his words will be loving, but firm; and that the congregation will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit ... that he will preach for a response in changed lifestyles, that individuals will become progressively more Christ like and not merely add to their store of Biblical knowledge ... that the pastor will deal with anything in his own life that is not in line with who he is and Whom he serves (cf. Matthew 18:15-35).
Also, pray that your pastor will keep in touch with people's needs and learn to develop both the quick growers and the slow growers ... that he will be an equipper of his people, and be a motivator and trainer of disciples ... that he will be absolutely committed to mobilizing the gifts of the body.
Pray for your pastor to have discernment in all areas including these: (1) how to apply the Word of God to specific situations, (2) how to present biblical truth so that it will be understood and put into practice, and (3) how to rightly assess and use the abilities and gifts of others. In view of the excessive demands on his time, pray that he will have discernment as to what God wants him to do and how God wants it done. Human discernment is always inadequate, but the mind of Christ is the sole judge for deciding what to say or do in all matters and actions, "that nothing be done out of selfish ambition or vain conceit" Philippians 2:3-8 NIV. Pray for stability in the pastor's life, since it is so easy to be swayed by trends and fads ... that he will keep balanced in all things including emphasis on the various age groups in the congregation.
Furthermore, pray that your pastor will not abandon his God-given right and responsibility to counsel in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit from the Word of God. Moreover, pray that he will not feel that psychology and the "how-to-do programs" rather than the Bible, have the answers for today's troubled souls.
A FURTHER SUGGESTION
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
Prepared after consultation with some of God's choice servants by:
Rev. Will Bruce
OVERSEAS MISSIONARY FELLOWSHIP
(founded as the China Inland Mission by
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10 West Dry Creek Circle,
Littleton, CO. 80120
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David Dougherty, Eastern region director,
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The above article on prayer is now included in an excellent book, World Prayer, which is available from OMF (above) or:
Christian Literature Crusade
OMF may also be contacted through clicking on the Overseas Missionary Fellowship link in our "More About Prayer" links above and filling out their "response form."
More About Prayer
Teachers in Tune Network - Teachers Joining Teachers in Prayer
Email: [email protected]