By Thom Rainer
We all need prayer.
We all need to pray.
Pastors specifically need prayer. The Enemy will do whatever he can to destroy the ministry of your pastors. Will you consider praying for your pastors in these specific areas?
- Pray for wisdom for your pastor. These leaders are often confronted with incredibly challenging situations and decisions. They need God’s wisdom to continue to be the leader of the church God has called them to be.
- Pray for your pastor’s protection. Your pastor will be attacked in so many different ways. Your pastor will be tempted again and again. The Enemy seeks to destroy. The Enemy wants your pastor’s ministry destroyed.
- Pray for your pastor’s family. They too are attacked, criticized, and sometimes bullied. They often feel isolated and alone. They need encouragement. They need prayer.
- Pray for your pastor to withstand the critics and bullies. Some of the critics and bullies are overt and aggressive. Others are passive aggressive. All are painful. And every pastor has them.
- Pray against discouragement from comparison. Before this week is over, a church member will likely tell your pastor to listen to a podcast by another pastor “to learn how to really preach” (actual words spoken to a pastor). Other pastors will hear numerous comments about the other great church in the community. The message is real and painful: You don’t measure up, pastor.
- Pray against discouragement from members leaving. It’s hard for your pastor not to take it personally. It’s really hard when the departing member tells your pastor to take it personally.
- Pray against discouragement from decline. Two out of three congregations in North America are declining. That is a painful reality for your pastor. That is a discouraging reality for your pastor.
- Pray against discouragement from disunity. “I wish I had every minute back I had to spend refereeing church members.” Those are the actual words of one of the Church Answers’ pastors I serve. The Enemy loves it when church members fight one another.
- Pray for discernment for “yes” and “no.” Pastors are pulled in a multitude of directions. They are expected to be in so many meetings, so many social events, and so many pastoral situations. They are really expected to be omnipresent. Pray they will be able to say “no” more often. Pray for their families who often get the scanty leftovers of the pastor’s time.
- Pray for financial pressures. Many pastors are underpaid. They struggle day by day with financial challenges. Actual quote from a deacon: “I like for our pastor to be underpaid. It keeps him humble and dependent on God.” That deacon is enjoying a life of leisure from inherited wealth.
- Pray for gospel opportunities. Pastors are energized when they have the opportunity to share the gospel. Unfortunately, many of them are too busy to take time to do so. The demands of the church are just too great. These pastors live lives of inverted priorities and frustrating days.
Do we really want healthy churches? Do we really want to defeat the Enemy in these battles?
Pray for your pastor.
Start today. Take five minutes of each day to pray for your pastor.
It may be the greatest contribution you can make to your church.
Click here to read the original blog post on ThomRainer.com
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on January 22, 2018. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and ten grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.