Pray For Your Pastor(s)
Today's post is by guest blogger Rick Muchewicz. Rick serves as an elder at Pleasant Hill Baptist church in Orlinda, TN. He is married to Karen and they have a daughter Ella. Rick is an author and blogs at http://awakeatthreefourteenam.blogspot.com/. He is a graduate of Boyce College the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Pray For Your Pastor(s)
You as a church member have the responsibility and the privilege to pray for your pastor. Your pastor needs prayer. The average church member, I would guess, rarely thinks of their pastor when they are praying. Why is that? I don't know, I cannot answer that for everyone. But, if you are reading this, you now know that you ought to be praying for him.
Why do pastors need prayer?
Pastors need prayer for the same reasons you do. They face the same things that you face day in and day out. Your difficulties are their difficulties. Pastors face temptations, struggle with sin, are often beset with weakness and doubts, deal with prayerlessness like other believers, have problems in the home, raise children, wrestle with apathy, grieve over social issues, allow stress to take hold, are at war spiritually, and live life in a fallen world just like everyone else.
In addition to these needs, pastors face others. Pastors need your prayers because they often struggle with depression. The ministry is demanding and often fruit is not seen. It is easy for a pastor to take his eyes off of the Lord and look to all of the issues within the church. Or, a pastor might become bitter and complain. “Woe is me!” can easily become the attitude of a pastor.
Other things that most church members may not realize are that pastors bear the sins and burdens of their people, are held accountable by God for their flock, experience heartache over the faithlessness of some members, face criticism, may feel pressured to perform in certain ways or produce according to the churches standards, and face the challenges of leading a group of people that are made up of different backgrounds, different maturity levels, different interests, etc.
What to pray
Pray for your pastor's preparation. Pray that as he prepares to preach and teach that he would be illuminated, faithful, prayerful, obedient, studious, understanding, submissive, and able to apply God's word. Pray that God bless you pastor with clarity, the ability to deliver God's word, that he would communicate effectively, that he will not be distracted from his time in study, that he would be a good steward of his time, and that his sermon will be Christ-centered, Spirit-dependent, and gospel-saturated.
Pray for your pastor's personal life. Pray for his family. Pray that he is growing, maturing, and spending time in the word. Pray also for his needs, struggles, leadership, character, joy, holiness, and hope. Remember to pray that he get enough rest, that he would be God-honoring, above reproach, a good husband and father. Pray that he work hard and be a good steward of all that God has given him. Pray for his physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Pray for his prayer life. Pray to God that as he prays throughout the week he be filled with passion, grace, mercy, love, and faith in God to hear and answer. Pray that he remember to intercede for the saints, confess the sins of the church, and beg God for mercy and forgiveness. Pray that your pastor's prayers will be scriptural, effectual, Spirit-led, and strengthened by God. Pray that your pastor have a desire to pray, that he makes time to pray, and that he never ceases to pray.
Pray for your pastor's ministry. Pray that he would be faithful, God glorifying, biblical, and persevering. Pray that the Lord bless his efforts with fruit, spiritual growth, conversions, and joy. Pray that the Lord bless him with the desire to serve, cast a vision, be patient, be focused, love the people, and be evangelistic. And, pray that the Lord grace him with wisdom to teach, preach, and counsel in and through any situation.
Pastors need the prayers of their people. Church members do not know everything that goes into being a pastor and the emotional, physical, and spiritual strain it places on a man of God. It takes its toll. So, remember to pray for your pastors. Your prayers, in God's sovereignty and perfect plan, may be the one thing that is keeping your pastor sane, faithful, and productive. Thank God for the prayers of the saints! Keep praying saints. The days are getting darker, the ministry more challenging, and life more arduous. The battle is real. Pray for your pastor as he prays for you.
What a gift from God. God has called and equipped men to shepherd his church. He has given them the command to pray for the sheep. And God has orchestrated that the sheep pray for the shepherd. There is a harmony here that can only come from God. Shepherds and sheep need each other. We help one another. We are on the same pilgrimage and headed for the same destination; one is leading and the other following. But, it is a relationship with no equal-a pastor and his sheep. What a beautiful picture, what a beautiful marriage. So again, pray for your pastor as he prays for you.