It was a great privilege to grow up in a pastor’s home. My dad has pastored the same church for over two decades. My grandfather was a pastor and several uncles are pastors. I love pastors. For the last 15 years I have served under the same pastor, and am very grateful to God that my family has a faithful shepherd that watches for our souls.
I have learned that pastors live under a great burden for the flock God has given them. Most church members view their pastor as someone who exists for them. While it is true that God gave pastors to feed the flock and equip them for ministry, it is equally true that God gives people to a pastor to help him.
Moses had Aaron. Elijah had Elisha. Paul had Timothy. Every man of God needs people encourage him. Pastors are real people and they fight real battles. There are many ways to help your pastor, but the greatest way is to pray for him and for his family. Nothing encourages God’s servants like knowing that someone is praying for them.
Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, “I beseech you…strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30). He would ask the believers in Ephesus (Ephesians 6:18), in Philippi (Phil. 1:18-19), and in Colossae (Col. 4:2-4) to pray for him. The great apostle would write two letters to the church in Thessalonica. In both he pleads for prayer (1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 3:1). This is the ministry every church should have to its pastor.
Years ago a friend of mine made a habit of praying for his pastor every time he prayed. This meant that he not only prayed for him daily, but many times a day. I have never forgotten this example and we have tried to follow it in our own home.
We expect our pastors to study, to visit, to labor, to counsel, to lead, to minister. But how often do we remember to pray for them? I often hear someone bemoan the lack of “great preachers” in this generation. Perhaps our real lack is for great prayers.
Three times in one chapter we are reminded to honor, obey, and encourage “them that have the rule over you” (Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). It is significant that in the heart of that same chapter we read these words: “Pray for us” (v. 18). The best way to have a good attitude toward spiritual leadership is to pray for them. You cannot criticize someone while you are praying for them.
Charles Spurgeon was asked the secret of his ministry. His answer was simple: “My people pray for me.” It is said that Spurgeon would often ask, “Dear friend, someday when you have the ear of the great king, would you please call my name? Would you pray for me?”
When we pray for the pastor we have a part in the life of everyone to whom the pastor ministers. Most of us will never pastor. But we can help the pastor. We can pray. You may not be Joshua fighting the enemy in the valley. You may not be Moses standing with arms extended to heaven on the mountain. But you could be Aaron and Hur – holding up the arms of the man of God.
- Pray for your pastor to have wisdom as he makes decisions.
- Pray for God to protect your pastor from evil.
- Pray for God’s blessing on your pastor’s home. Pray specifically for his wife and children.
- Pray for your pastor to have liberty as he preaches and teaches God’s Word.
- Pray for the Lord to give your pastor grace as he ministers to hurting people.
- Pray for your pastor to know God’s joy as his strength every day.
- Pray for your pastor to have spiritual power.
Pray publicly for him. Pray privately for him. Teach your family to pray for the pastor. Pray for him daily and set aside special seasons to pray for him. You cannot do everything, but you can do something. You can do the most important thing…you can pray. Would you take a moment right now and pray for your pastor?