From what people tell me at the church I pastor, I have a lot of people praying for me. Prayer is a funny thing in that, often we don’t know what to pray for someone else, and it can turn into vain repetition. I thought it would be helpful to share with people how they can specifically pray for their pastors on Sunday morining. Since I have had thousands of readers, I know there are probably hundreds of churches represented through my readers. I hope that if you are reading this post, you will share this with your friends so that your pastor might be blessed by it as well.
I am going to list specific areas in which you can pray for your pastor on Sunday morning. This list may look different if I would offer things which you can pray for your pastor in general. We should pray without ceasing, but since most of us have Sunday set aside for extra time of concentrated worship, I believe that this is an exercise you might include each Sunday before church.
While this list of prayers will specifically bless your pastor, know that it will in turn bless you and your church. If your pastor is spiritually, emotionally, and relationally healthy, he will better be able to serve you. If he is distracted by things in life, has inner spiritual battles going on within himself while preaching, or has other struggles, he will potentially lack in effective ministry.
MENTALLY FOCUSED: Preaching is a unique way to communicate. It is even different than teaching a class because there is often no two-way verbal communication. To give a presentation of some 30-40 minutes straight, and be able to lay forth proper theology and argumentation is not easy. If there is a lot on your pastor’s mind, whether it be personal issues or church concerns, it can be distracting to the message that he needs to give. One issue pastors sometimes face is people bringing major problems to him right before the service starts. If it is not something which will immediately affect that service, serious difficulty discussed only briefly might distract the pastor from being able to properly deliver God’s Word that day. Pray that your pastor is mentally focused, and that there will not be unneeded external distractions before the service so that he can deliver the Gospel to those who came to hear it.
UNITY IN THE BODY: In relation to being mentally focused, there is nothing which can derail your pastor’s attention to the Word as a congregation which is at odds. I am not talking about the congregation needing to agree on everything. I am speaking about the congregation being unified and loving each other despite their disagreements. Whether it be two believers who are at odds, or the pastor and a congregant, this is a certain distraction. Pray that those coming to worship today may set aside their arguments to worship at the feet of Jesus.
MERCY: Pray for mercy for your pastor. Mercy is giving someone forgiveness when it is in your power to punish them. What I am not talking about is excusing sin which your pastor commits. Where might your pastor need mercy? Many times pastors have a feeling of not meeting expectations. People forget that their needs are not the only needs that week, or even Sunday morning. Your pastor will forget about your need; there will be times when he might not meet your expectation. There are times he goes home feeling like his sermon was a flop that day. He is also a sinner, and comes to the service having gone through guilt, conviction and repentance. Pray that your pastor will feel mercy from God and his congregation so that he can share that mercy with his congregation that day.
FIXED ON JESUS: Pray that your pastor is fixed on Jesus. There are many things which can hinder your pastor from being fixed on Jesus today at church. This coincides with being mentally focused. It is easy for him to get discouraged about who is not at church today, what the funds of the church is like, or what problems people face. If your pastor is going to share the Gospel of Jesus with you, he needs to have his eyes fixed on Jesus. He struggles like any other human with the secular thinking about the tangibles, and and can forget that Jesus is the reason we are coming to worship. Pray that your pastor will have his eyes fixed on Jesus no matter what is going on in his life or the church.
REST: Pray that your pastor will find Sabbath rest each Sunday. I’m a 90/0 guy. By that I mean I go 90 mph or 0 in life. There are times when people think a pastor just comes, delivers his sermon and goes home. Why that may be true for a minority of pastors, I don’t think it applies to most. I often arrive several hours before anyone comes to the church building. I check the building, touch up things, practice through my sermon on stage as if people were there, answer emails, go through mail, and study the Word. Then people start coming in the door. About an hour before and after the service I am usually engaged in constant conversation. I enjoy this, but it can be exhausting. Often the conversations can be quick and deep. They are seldom casual in nature. No matter how my week has gone I attempt to give 100% in my preaching, speaking with excitement of what the Gospel really entails. When I get home, I often take a nap. I am usually mentally exhausted. It’s funny, you would think on Sunday morning as a time when a pastor is not exerting physical energy. But according to my fitbit, I often put on about 3-4 miles each week at church. That’s a lot of steps in one building. So I come home a little physically exhausted as well. Part of the Sabbath is also reflecting on God and your week. A pastor spending 6-8 hours of the day working at church can find it hard to set aside the time to reflect. Pray that your pastor finds Sabbath rest both in the physical, mental and spiritual after he goes home.
I hope you find this list helpful in how you pray for your pastor. Remember to pray for your pastor in the entirety of his Sabbath day. I think if you pray for him about these things, help be part of the solution to these things, and help others be part of the solution to these things you will find out that not only will your pastor be blessed, but so will you and the congregation he serves.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.