How to Effectively Pray for Your Pastor
Hello, friends. Let me encourage you to take a moment to pray for your pastor. Pastors face an almost constant barrage of spiritual attack. Discouragement, heartless criticism, and internal church conflict are some of the bullets in the evil one’s gun. These attacks wear pastor’s down and even lead them to leave their calling. You can help your pastor with your prayers. Pray they will be able to discern and resist the attacks of Satan in the powerful name of Jesus.#2: Ask God to fill your pastor with wisdom and boldness. There are many pressures to compromise what God calls pastors to say. Some things are not popular in our culture or churches. It is easy to give into fear. It also takes great wisdom to stay true to God’s word and not be needlessly offensive. With the help of the Holy Spirit and your prayers, your pastor can speak with wise boldness. May God bless you as you pray.
#3: Ask God to fill your pastor with renewed spiritual vitality. The daily grind of dealing with emotional counseling situations, leadership decisions, teaching and preaching can drain your pastor’s spiritual and emotional energy. Pray your pastor will enjoy great moments of refreshing in the presence of Jesus and that Jesus would send encouragers to help with the work.
#4: Ask God to guard your pastor’s family. Among the great challenges your pastor faces is the matter of family. As the spiritual leaders of God’s people, it seems pastor’s families are often singled out for extra attention by spiritual forces. If the evil one can get just one family member off track, the pastor’s effectiveness can be diminished. Take a moment right now to pray for God’s protection on your pastor’s family.
#5: Ask God to bless your pastor’s leadership. Pastors are called to lead. Some lead with a team, others work mostly on their own. Whatever the situation, pastors are to equip the congregation to fulfill God’s plans. This takes great discernment, wisdom and perseverance. Your prayers can help your pastor be a wise, discerning and persevering leader
#6: Ask God to guard your pastor from loneliness. Loneliness can be one of the great challenges of pastoral work. Some studies have shown that the number one reason pastors leave the ministry is because of isolation. Facing the challenges alone can leave a pastor vulnerable to discouragement. Pray that your pastor will have strong friendships with trustworthy people. Good friends go a long way to helping your pastor succeed.
#7: Ask God to anoint your pastor’s prayer life. Friendship with God is one of the great privileges of Christians. This friendship is often enjoyed through the practice of prayer. Happy and meaningful prayer times refresh the soul and invite God’s strength and help for the challenges of each day. Pray that your pastor will enjoy a great prayer life; that his or her times with God will be meaningful and life giving. Ask God to meet them with his love and power in their times of personal prayer.
#8: Ask God to guard your pastor’s peace. A pastor’s life can sometimes be like boating on a stormy sea. Winds of adversity and criticism join waves of relentless demands to threaten a pastor’s peace. Fear and anxiety can take over one’s heart. The sense of inner tranquility is easily lost. Take a moment to pray that God’s peace will guard your pastor’s heart. Pray that inner rest will be enjoyed despite the storms of life.
#9: Ask God to fill your pastor with a sense of God’s love for him or her. I recently visited with a man who told me of the intense ministry challenges he and his wife were going through. He told me that his wife said to him “if I know that you love me I can go through most anything.” This is also true for pastors. If they have a deep awareness of the love of God they can go through almost anything and persevere in the work God has called them to. Pray that your pastor will have a deep awareness of God’s amazing love. May God bless you as you pray.
#10: Ask God to fill your pastor with a fresh sense of joy. A survey of over 1000 pastors revealed that 71% battled depression “on a weekly or even a daily basis.” This survey was not unusual. Many studies of pastoral life reveal significant battles with discouragement. In this season of Joy, pray that joy will fill the heart of your pastor. Pray that his or her spirit would be lifted with a fresh revelation of Jesus and that despair would be replaced by a heart full of praise.
#11: Ask God to fill your pastor with the Spirit. As you pray for your pastor I encourage you to remember the verse of scripture found in Zechariah 4:6 it says, “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord.” Your pastor will be a strong and capable person, having gifts of ministry, yet without the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s work does not move forward. Ask God to fill your pastor with the Spirit. Pray that they would enjoy the Holy Spirit’s power giving them supernatural help in their important work.
#12: Ask God to fill your pastor’s heart with the sunshine of God’s word. During long cold winters, the darkness and weather starts to take it’s toll. With this in mind let me suggest a mid-winter prayer for your pastor. It goes like this “Lord, in this time of the long winter, I ask that the sunshine of your Word would shine joy into my pastor’s heart. May the sweetness of your presence lift shadows of doubt, reinvigorate faith, give joy in their calling and wisdom for the day. Thank you for your care. In Jesus name, Amen.”
#13: Ask God to remind your pastor of God’s past wonderful works. God does many wonderful things in our lives, yet our memory of what he has done can easily fade. We naturally focus our thoughts on present or future matters. So it is with your pastor. Memories of how God has worked in the past can easily slip away. This can lead them to think that their work has been in vain. Pray that your pastor would be reminded of what he has done through them in the past. This will be a great encouragement for their ministry today.
#14: Ask God to look to Jesus to work miracles. As you pray for your pastor this month keep in mind the story of Jesus first Miracle. There was a crisis at a wedding, the people had run out of wine. The Mother of Jesus brought to servants to him and instructed them to do all that Jesus told them. The servants wisely did what Jesus said and he turned the water into wine. Like the servants, pastors sometimes feel pressure to do miracles in crisis situations. Pray that your pastor would do all Jesus calls them to do but to leave the miracles to him.
#15: Give thanks to God for your pastor. Then thank your pastor! I recently met with a group of pastors who are doing great work, who love the Lord deeply and giving every effort to serve their church. They have a strong allegiance to God and their call to ministry. They are busy teaching, settling conflicts, helping mend broken marriages and leading people to God. They are wonderful people yet do not often hear that they are valued. Take a moment to thank God for your pastor, then send them a note and thank them too.
#16: Ask God to remind your pastor of God’s power to turn things around. Over the past while I have enjoyed meeting with pastors who have experienced great turnarounds in their work. Some were at the point of closing the doors and the pastor considering moving on. But things have changed. Now there is growth, impact and new life where things seemed dead. God has turned things around. If you pastor is facing a difficult situation pray that they would remember, God can turn things around. He brings life to what is dead, peace to what is turbulent, and hope to what seems hopeless.
#17: Ask God to strengthen your pastor through the emotional ups and downs of ministry. Being a pastor involves experiencing many swings of emotion. One hour you are helping people who are in deep grief, the next working with people who are in great joy. One day you feel like God is really working through you, the next it feels like he has abandoned you. All these swings of emotion can have a wearing affect on your pastor’s soul. Pray that your pastor will have a strong and steady faith to manage the emotional ups and downs of pastoral work.
#18: Ask God to fill your pastor with heavenly vision. Pray that they will have vision and tenacity. The power of vision is demonstrated in the life of the Apostle Paul who despite great hardships did not give up. Paul always kept in mind the calling for ministry God gave him at his conversion. This vision set the course for his life and gave him amazing perseverance. Pray that your pastors would remember the vision God gave them at their calling. It will strengthen them for the work.
#19: Ask God to strengthen your pastor as a gatekeeper for the loving truth of God’s Word. We live in a time when many false teachings are coming to the Christian church. These teachings are often subtle but very destructive. Pastors are the spiritual gatekeepers of their congregation. They are to discern what is to be allowed in and what is to be kept out of the church. Pray that they would be directed by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and filled with courage as they carry out the ministry of protection. May God bless you as you pray.
#20: Ask God to allow your pastor to hear the Holy Spirit’s promptings in the midst of life’s distractions. God gives us his Spirit to be our guide, comforter and power source of our lives and ministry. Through his leadings we are kept from unwise decisions and led into effective service. Yet the daily demands and relentless schedule of a pastor can make it hard to hear the promptings of God. As you pray for your pastor this month ask God to give them a great sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Pray that they would hear His voice in the midst of daily pressures. May God bless you as you pray.