11 Feb How to Pray for Your Pastor
Todd Fetters (right), Director of National Ministries
As a pastor, I regularly informed my congregations of my prayer concerns by using a variety of lists. Eventually, I found a resource by Jim Nicodem, in his book, “Prayer Coach,” that became my favorite. His list accurately reflected the true desire of my heart as a spiritual leader.
These seven petitions work nicely as a weekly prayer guide. I encourage you to use it as you pray for your pastor.
Day 1: That our pastors would be honored, affirmed, encouraged, and respected.
Discouragement is a reality for many pastors and their spouses. The reasons are as varied as the normal stuff of everyday life. Fatigue. Lack of success. Unrealistic expectations. Sin. Unrealized vision. Loss. Financial pressures. Spiritual doubt. Loneliness. Clearly, pastors and their spouses do a good work, but there is always the danger of them growing weary in doing good.
Day 2: That our pastors would be protected from focused attacks of Satan, stay far from sin, and walk in obedience to God’s Word.
Satan is a real threat. Pastors are well aware of their brokenness and how vulnerable they are to satanic temptation. The good ones battle hard to resist temptation, because they know the consequences can extend beyond themselves to those they lead.
Day 3: That God would give our pastors wisdom, patience, perseverance, and grace in facing people-problems, and that those they lead would be loyal, understanding, and supportive.
Relationship is everything. We want our congregations and pastors to truly care for one another, speak well of one another, and have mutual affection one for the other.
Day 4: That our pastors’ marriages and parenting would be God-pleasing and wise.
Congregations struggle when a pastor’s marriage suffers. Divorce can deflate and divide a congregation. Rebellious children can cause frustration and doubt in a pastor’s leadership. We want our clergy couples to love and enjoy each other. We want our pastors’ families to be havens of honor and hope.
Day 5: That our pastors, in preparation for teaching God’s Word, would listen to God’s voice, have their time for study protected, be kept from theological error, personally apply the truth, and be filled with God’s Spirit.
Modeling the Way is as important as preaching the Word. Good pastors regularly connect with God through the Word they study, preach, and apply to themselves. In the process, they desperately pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.
Day 6: That our pastors would consistently practice important disciplines.
Spiritual disciplines are critical for maintaining a connection with the Holy Spirit. Pastors make time to physically, emotionally, and mentally engage the Holy Spirit through prayer, worship, study, confession, solitude, fasting, etc.
Day 7: That our pastors would be zealous for the church and compelling in promoting its mission.
The Kingdom is the pastor’s God-given big picture. They have an inner drive to see the agenda, priorities, and values of God’s Kingdom realized in their own lives, their churches, their communities, and throughout the world. For them, it’s not just about growing a big church. It’s about participating with God as He grows His Kingdom.
These seven prayer requests compose a holistic picture of your pastor’s heart. It reveals the heart attitude through which God seems to work. So, now that you’ve gained a glimpse inside the mind of the pastor, offer to God an informed prayer on your pastor’s behalf, right now. Then, start watching for God to effectively grow His Kingdom.