Pray for Your Pastor

He may have distracting mannerisms. His grammar may be faulty. His life experience may be limited. He may not do things the way the former pastor did them. His inadequacies may be magnified because he is a public figure. For one reason or another, he may become a target for unfair criticism.

There is a better way. Prayer is that better way.

Jonathan Edwards wrote, “If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers — had as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them — they would have had much more in the way of success.”

Usually church folks have high expectations of their pastors. This is because they are preaching the most important message the world has ever known, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Congregations have a right to expect their pastors to be faithful to that gospel and to teach the word of God, explaining its meaning and helping them to apply it to their lives.

If a pastor is doing this with integrity, he deserves to be supported in prayer, despite human limitations. Love covers a multitude of inadequacies.

E.M. Bounds wrote, “The preacher must pray; the preacher must be prayed for. It will take all the praying he can do, and all the praying he can get done, to meet the fearful responsibilities and gain the largest, truest success in his great work. The true preacher . . . covets with great covetousness the prayers of God’s people.”

Paul did not hesitate to ask for prayer support. To the believers in Rome he wrote, “Join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30). He wrote to the Ephesian Christians, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19). He asked the Colossians, “Pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).

He sent the Thessalonians a pointed reminder; “Brothers, pray for us” (1 Thessalonians 5:25). He told the believers at Corinth that their prayers would be a practical help in his ministry:  “On him (God) we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers: (2 Corinthians 1:11). If the apostle Paul was so dependent on the prayers of others, certainly our pastors need them as much or more.

I know how this feels. In my more than fifty years as a pastor trying to provide spiritual care for God’s people, the responsibility could be crushing. I felt my human weakness. I felt acutely the need for prayer support. It was always an encouragement when someone sent a note to say, “Pastor, I am praying for you.”

That is why I am praying for my pastors. I hope you are, too.

Pastor Randy Faulkner