Pastors are on the front lines of spiritual battle. They need an abundance of prayer to survive and thrive. How much do you pray for pastors?
1 Thessalonians 5:25 “Brethren, pray for us.”
This verse is the cry of every pastor. They are keenly aware of their need for God.
Here are five reasons to pray fervently and often for your pastor.
1. Pastors represent God.
Wow. Think about that statement.
Pastors represent the Almighty Creator of the Universe in a community. They are the undershepherd of Jesus Christ leading local congregations. This high calling is a great privilege and a terrible responsibility.
A humble pastor knows that he is not worthy of the title. Yet, he accepts it in obedience to God’s call.
1 Corinthians 9:16 “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”
Only through God’s grace and intercessory prayer of others can a pastor hope to satisfy his high calling.
2. Pastors are on the front lines of spiritual battle.
Satan targets pastors. All the hosts of hell conspire to stop his work, tarnish his name, corrupt his faith, disrupt his family, and destroy his life.
I’m not being melodramatic. Military strategy dictates that one of the quickest paths to victory is to destroy the command structure of the enemy. Maximum damage and confusion are accomplished by taking out the officers of the opposing force. The same is true in God’s work.
The fastest way to hurt a local church is by damaging its pastor. We all know horror stories of pastoral sins and failures that injured churches and taint the blessed name of our Lord.
I can’t help but wonder if the devil would have less of these victories if we fought in prayer to protect pastors.
3. Pastors must have God’s power to fulfill their duties.
Pastors are called to uniquely spiritual work. Every component of their calling requires the supernatural help of God.
While every child of God should live in the Spirit daily, most can get by fulfilling their daily work without it. The boss usually isn’t concerned with the spiritual aspects of driving the truck, pounding the nails, conducting meetings, etc. A major reason for modern Christianity’s failure to impact the world is this lack of daily Holy Ghost power.
The Pastor’s vocation is notably different. He MUST have God’s power to accomplish His calling.
Consider some of a pastor’s duties.
- Studying the Bible.
- Praying for others.
- Caring for members.
- Winning the lost.
- Discipling converts.
- Counseling Christians.
- Comforting the brokenhearted.
- Confronting backsliders.
- Delivering from bondage.
- Seeking God.
- Preparing messages.
- Planning the Church calendar.
- Moderating Church services & activities.
- Preaching God’s Word.
The list could go on, but you get the idea. Which of these could a pastor do well without the discernable help of God? None.
A pastor needs time with God. Most church members want their pastor to have the power of Moses but would never approve of Him spending 40 days on the mountain to get it. Make sure that your man of God is not so overworked that He isn’t getting the time He needs with God.
Pray that God’s presence would be evident in your pastor’s life and His power undeniable in his ministry.
4. Pastors manage complicated situations.
Pastors are most visible during church services. In these services they are seen leading the congregation, making announcements, and preaching God’s Word. Some people believe that is all there is to ministry.
Don’t forget that the public work of church services comprises roughly 6 hours of a long work week. There is a multitude of behind the scenes work for which a pastor is responsible.
Pastors are there to help hurting people. He must work with people during the worst moments of their lives. He sees sins and its effects up close.
Usually, he is trying to help broken people who’ve allowed sin to cause evident damage. Occasionally, he must try to help those who don’t want help at all.
Pastors get yelled at, cussed at, lied to, lied about, and sometimes even threatened while trying to resolve complex situations. They are on call 24/7. Every pastor cringes when the phone rings at odd hours because it could be anything from a dying loved one to a marriage blowing apart.
Over the years I have personally worked with situations involving:
- Church Member Conflicts
- Unbiblical Thinking
- Sexual Abuse
- Domestic Abuse
- Decisions to Divorce
- Drug Abuse / Overdose
- And more…
Would you want extra prayer for wisdom, power, and protection in these situations? Of course. So do we!
Dealing with complicated situations is spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.
I’m not complaining. As a pastor, I am privileged to see people at their best, and I am trusted to see them at their worst. Both of these are an honor.
I am pleading on behalf of pastors for prayer. We need it more than most people realize.
5. Pastors are people too.
I think that sometimes Christians forget this truth.
Pastors face the same pressures of life that everyone else does.
He has to manage a family, grow a marriage, raise his children, do household chores, and pay bills. He feels the pressure to work hard, set a good example, and please the Lord. He gets tired, lonely, sick, overwhelmed, and discouraged.
In short, a pastor faces all the pressures and problems of life in addition to the other things mentioned in this article. Please understand that I’m not complaining. I am simply reminding.
Don’t see your pastor as superhuman. See him as a human with a challenging calling striving to please God in a wicked world. Be his friend. Encourage him. Love him and let him know it. But most of all pray for him and his family passionately, fervently, and faithfully.
A Final Word
Many Christians already pray for their pastor. Praise God. Hopefully, this article will encourage many to pray for often and more fervently.
Also, It is a great idea to choose other pastors, missionaries, or preachers to add to your prayer list. You can create a section of your prayer list for them. You should pray for some daily and have a list of others that you pray for once a week.
They need it and will thank you for it!