Prayer is much on my mind these days, as we are in the midst of Prayer Week 2017 at Calvary, and as I work my way through the excellent book, A Praying Life, reading a chapter each morning during my communion time. So it was with great delight that I read an article on praying for pastors from my good friend, Joe Thorn. I say great delight, because I agree with Joe - it is a deep and precious encouragement when someone shares that they are praying for me and the ministry that God has called me to. What a gift!
I post it in the hopes that you will heartily apply what Joe is calling for here, and give the gift of frequent and regular prayer to your pastor(s).
One of the great encouragements in my ministry is knowing that many at Redeemer regularly and frequently pray for me. There are a number of ways we should be praying for our leaders in the church, but as we approach Sunday I want to encourage you to pray for your pastors and their preaching in 4 specific ways.
Pray for The Word to Be at Work in His Heart
Before he preaches the word to others your pastor needs to experience the word himself. Pray that he would search the Scripture to know God and his truth personally, and then bring that to the people. Ask God to impress on him the practical implications of the doctrines revealed in the text, to convict him of his own sin, and work grace in his heart. Ask God to make his message the offspring of Bible and belief, bearing the distinguishing marks of truth and passion.
Pray for Jesus to Be Exalted in His Message
The goal of his preaching should be to make much of Jesus, bringing him before the people with clarity and conviction. So, pray that whether he is in the Old or New Testaments, hitting a passage heavy on law or gospel, that he would be led to point his hearers to the gospel hope of pardon and peace in Jesus Christ.
Pray for The Spirit to Empower his Preaching
As gifted as your pastor may be, he remains a weak and sinful man in himself. The only hope he has for his preaching to carry power is the Holy Spirit's ministry of conviction, conversion, and counsel. Pray for The Holy Spirit to do what only he can do--empower the preaching of a mere man who holds out the words of life with trembling hands.
Pray for His Satisfaction to be Found in Jesus
Preachers often struggle with feelings of failure after they step away from the pulpit. Mondays can be times of doubt and frustration for many ministers. Pray that your pastor would be so satisfied with what he has in Christ that even if he lost his way while preaching he would remain confident that Christ has neither lost him nor his word. Ask God to give your pastor such confidence in the Spirit's power and the Scripture's sufficiency that should his last sermon fail to live up to his standards, his hope remains steadfast for God can use any man's preaching, no matter how deficient, as long as he gives the people the word. Pray that your pastor would have the mindset that "success" is simply faithfulness to God, and fruitfulness determined by God.
There are a number of pastors I pray for regularly, and these are some of they ways I lift them up. I hope you will join me as you pray for the leaders God has given you.
(This post originally appeared here)