I would imagine, if you’re a person who often spends time in prayer, your pastor is a regular on your prayer list. As a pastor’s wife, I want to say thank you to all of you who lift our husbands and families up in prayer. It means more than you know.
We tend to think of the usual things when praying for our pastors: that God would speak through them, that God would strengthen them and their families, and that God would bless them. These are incredibly beautiful and effective prayers. But, I thought I would mention a few ways to pray for your pastor that you might not have considered.
1. Pray that your pastor will resist temptation.
Most of us have a rather unrealistic view of our pastor. We assume that he doesn’t struggle with temptation in the same way the rest of us do. We imagine that he is so spiritually enlightened and so in-tune with the Holy Spirit that temptations which would bring a normal man to his knees are easily rebuffed by pastors.
Pastors are weak and tempt-able creatures just like the rest of us. Help hold your pastor up. Let your prayers be a shield between him and the temptations that can derail his ministry and his relationship with Christ.
2. Pray that your pastor will have a double helping of compassion for people.
Pastors spend a huge chunk of their time in ministry dealing with people. And, not all of the people they deal with are pleasant, salt-of-the-earth types. Many times a pastor deals with people during the lowest, darkest, most difficult times of their lives, when people are acting in unreasonable ways or are clinging to him because they don’t know what else to do. It can be emotionally draining for a pastor to continually be dealing with people’s problems and personalities.
Pray that your pastor will feel true compassion for people, even difficult people, and that he will have a supernatural ability to love those who are demanding or desperate. Pray that, by the Holy Spirit’s power, he will be open even when he’s exhausted, and that he will have an inexplicable ability to sympathize and encourage, even when no one else would.
3. Pray that your pastor will have a hunger for God’s word.
As much as many of us struggle to take the time to read and study our Bibles or to want to read and study our Bibles, we probably imagine that Bible reading is favorite pastime for pastors. But, the truth is that life is demanding and it can be difficult for pastors to find the time or desire to read God’s word. It may sometimes feel like a chore or just another thing that they have to cross off of a to-do list.
Pray that your pastor will not only have the time and desire to read his Bible, but that he will absolutely delight in God’s word. Pray that He will love it. That He will find the time that he needs to study and pray and let the Holy Spirit direct his reading and his understanding.
4. Pray that your pastor enjoys his job.
Pastoral ministry is different from most jobs, because it isn’t just a job–it’s a way of life. But, in that way of life, there are plenty of expectations and requirements that can sometimes be difficult for pastors to carry out. Not every aspect of his job will appeal to your pastor or will be easy for his personality type to accomplish.
So, pray that God would help him to find the fun in his job. Pray that your pastor will be able to laugh and experience fulfilling friendships and will learn to find enjoyment in even the most mundane and unpleasant tasks. Pray that God would help your pastor wake up every day excited to get to work.
These four prayers could go a long way toward helping your pastor be a more effective and more content minister of the gospel. We can’t take for granted that our pastors don’t struggle with many of the same things we struggle with. We must commit to praying for them as real men with real human feelings and attitudes and temptations to deal with. Pastors aren’t super-human or Mega-Christians. They are simply called men who are in great need of the prayer support of their churches. These four weird little prayers would be a place to start.
Pastor’s wife here too, and YES, these are great suggestions. I never realized before my husband became a pastor just how much pastors battle spiritually. Pastors struggle with depression and temptation to a great degree and definitely need our prayers. There’s a lot at stake and the enemy would love to see more pastors fall.
Definitely what our leaders need, especially in this time. Seeing my father faithfully pastor a church has shown me how much they crave it and how little people realize their need. Truly though, these do not seem “weird” at all, but rather what we all need, pastors included.
Great ideas ! My (pastor) husband was just telling me the other day about a study showing that a high percentage of pastors struggle with depression and that even more feel like they don’t have any friends (I don’t remember the exact numbers).
If ever there is a time for pastors to bombed with prayer it is now. Leaders in the church fight the same Devil as everybody else, but with more intensity. Thank you.