In the recent weeks, I have experienced a great burden as I have watched on the sidelines as three pastors in our association have resigned their churches. For various reasons, these pastors found that they could no longer serve in the capacities to which they once felt so strongly called to serve. Even though I do not face any kind of pain or tears at this moment, I have known at times what each one of these men must have felt. WIth that in mind can I offer you a few ways that you can pray for your pastor?
Good. Look with me at 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Do you see the four particular prayer requests that each pastor needs for you to pray? Let’s mark them together
- Pray that your pastor can serve God with a clear conscience. (2 Tim. 1:3) While there is a time and a season for everything, and some pastors press too hard, too fast in a direction they desire, the pastorate can seem like an unbearable burden if the congregation you serve does not share a passion for that which Christ has made you most passionate. Further, every pastor has certain gifts and talents that other pastors may not have. A congregational expectation to live up to the last pastor can destroy any hope that a pastor may experience. Pray that you pastor can serve as the man whom God has called him to be.
- Pray that your pastor will be filled with joy when he sees you, even when he also faces situations that bring him to tears. (2 Tim. 1:4) Some counsel pastors to never get close to anyone in a congregation. Others encourage a pastor to find close friends with other men in the ministry. Pastors need both members and other ministers! A pastor needs to regularly see people who bring joy to a ministry that could easily fill with tears. The great joy that a faithful member brings when he comes to go with his pastor on hospital visitation can make a tearful situation bearable. When a pastor faces the difficult season inside his church, he may need to have lunch with another minister who can bring joy to his day by expressing the comfort and wisdom from other similar ministerial experiences. Pray in whatever capacity you know a pastor that your presence serves to fill him with joy.
- Pray for your pastor to pass to his family on the sincere faith his family passed on to him. (2 Tim. 1:5) The burdens of church work can easily demand more time, energy, and emotion from a pastor than he realizes. With great tears he may realize that his children and wife hate the church because he brings his frustrations with his job home to them. The preacher’s family can too easily come to doubt or even reject faith in Christ because they must endure firsthand how the struggles of the church affect the man they call husband and father. Pray that your pastor views his family as the first family he must shepherd in order to have any credibility to shepherd others.
- Pray for the Spirit of God to personally stir up your pastors gifts of boldness, power, love, and self-control. (2 Tim. 1:6-7) Too quickly when discouraged, a pastor can neglect his calling and his relationship with the Lord whom he serves. When people do not respond to the call to surrender to Christ, or when they respond negatively to his biblical instruction, a pastor can quickly look for other outlets in which he has greater “success”. The temptation not to devote as much effort to his work also creeps into his life. Most of all he can fearfully shrink from what Christ has called him to do. By neglecting his calling, the fearful pastor also further wrecks the relationship he has with the Lord. Further, with out the Lord’s empowering gifts no pastor can pass on anything. Like you, your pastor needs more than anything else to have a growing and empowering relationship with Christ. Pray for your pastor to experience the presence of Christ in his everyday life.
SO PLEASE, PRAY THESE THINGS FOR YOUR PASTOR!