Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on “Issues in the Church” that either aren’t talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a biblical worldview with lots of practical gospel-application.
- Joel opened up our series looking at expository preaching: an end goal more than a style.
- Mike Cooper wrote on pastoral hospital visits.
- Dr. Josh Buice answered to important questions about expository preaching.
- Dr. David Schrock wrote on the question, “What is Jesus’s Evangelism Program?”
- Dave wrote on how to care for your pastor.
- Dave wrote on three keys to sermon listening and note-taking.
- Joey Tomlinson wrote about the priority of regularly communing with God.
- Dave wrote on biblical doctrine: the lifeblood of the Christian life.
- Dave wrote on Doctrine: The Fuel for Discipleship.
- Dr. Schrock wrote on church membership.
- Dave wrote on the importance of church history.
- Today Joel writes on five ways to pray or your pastor.
Congregants often forget the intensity of a pastors work, that it’s not a cushy job, but a spiritual discipline and battle. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your pastor and how you can pray for him.
1.He labors in the Word for the spiritual well-being of others. His task is both physically and spiritually demanding.
- Pray for his strength. The strength he needs is from above. The encouragement he needs is from those around him who are willing to hold up his arms when they become weary.
- The enemy contends for his attention every minute. Among countless ploys from the enemy to distract him, he fights to give his time fully to the work of the gospel. He knows that his words and his deeds must come from God if they are going to bear fruit in the Church.
- Pray for his mind to be clearly focused on Christ. Pray that the enemies attempt to distract him would be crushed.
- Preaching the Word is a spiritual obedience. The congregation is a needy people and often has itching ears that are wanting to be scratched. But he must speak only for the pleasure of the Lord and the honor of the Word, not for the praises of man.
- Pray for his boldness to speak the truth of God without shame or compromise. Pray that his only fear would be the fear of the Lord.
- Delivering the Word of God is a spiritual battle of the highest degree. The sheep need nourishment and to be built up in the Word but the enemy seeks to squander that nourishment and destroy the sheep. After the sermon, his work is not done. In many ways, it has just begun.
- The very moment he leaves the pulpit he should pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort and wash over him. He should also pray for a work of affirmation in his heart and that God would ready him for the days ahead. Lastly, Pastor, pray for a steady shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the Devil.
- Your pastor has a family at home. You see how his work affects the Church but it’s easy to forget that it affects his loved ones too, and often more so. Every hour spent in the Word, pouring through books and commentaries, laboring in prayer and writing sermons is all time spent away from his children and precious wife. It’s a sacrifice, but one worthy of his call.
- Pray for his wife and children often, that God’s joy would be among them. Pray for his marriage, that it would reflect the love of Christ. Pray that his home would be filled with the peace and unity of the Spirit. Pray for endurance through times of loneliness and discouragement, moments that come more often than you might think. Pray that the grace of Christ would abound more and more and that through your pastor and his family God would continue to minister to both the people of God and the lost in this world.
These are only a few of the many things to keep in mind regarding your pastor. Surely there are more. The bottom line is to pray. Encourage him and his family whenever you can. It’s easy to think that your pastor exists to fill your needs and the needs of the Church. While that may be true in part, the Scriptures tell us all to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-2).