“Pray for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).
Whether requested or not, you and I would do well to pray for our pastors.
Then, continuing to pray for your pastor in good times and ill is a sign of great faith in Christ.
So much depends on whether our spiritual leaders are functioning well, close to the Lord, thinking clearly, and in good health.
Here are ten requests we should be asking of the Father for our pastors….
One. A strong sense of God’s calling on the pastor’s life.
“It is the Lord Christ whom ye serve.” (Colossians 3:24)
He is not his own, nor is he “ours.” He has been bought with a price. So, we pray that He may always have a clear sense of where his allegiance begins and ends. This will produce a far greater intensity in his faith and drive to his work ethic than anything the deacons or finance committee can impose.
“Lord,” I said, “Most churches are afraid of me. If I’m such a good candidate for their church, they wonder why I am still unemployed?”
I had survived an attempt to oust me from leadership of the church I’d pastored the last three years. It had been the most difficult, up-hill period in my ministry. Then, when it appeared the coup had failed and the know-it-alls knew a lot less than they had figured, I was not given time to take a breath before the ringleader said in private, “It’s not over, Joe. It’ll never be over until you’re gone.”
He was determined to get me out of that church.
A few days later, the Father said to me, “You may leave now.”
Six months earlier, a church leader with ties to the little power group had taken me to lunch with an offer. “If you will leave, they’ll give you $100,000. And you can walk away.”
I said, “I would love to leave. The stress is killing me. But the Lord will not let me.”
A Midwest church twice our size had shown interest in me as a possible pastor. I’d sent them recorded sermons–this was before the internet–and we’d had extensive long distance conversations. They were about to send their search committee across the country to visit us when I stopped it.
“Our company asks prospective employees to fill out a written application,” a man wrote in the Readers Digest. “One question said: In one word, describe your greatest strength. This woman applicant wrote: I’m always faithful to read the directions first.”
Recently, Bertha and I voted at the church a few blocks from our house. As you sign in, the poll workers give you a paper ballot. Since only two races were left for the runoff, the page was mostly empty. At the top were these instructions: “Using black ink, fill in the oval circle beside the name of the candidate for whom you are voting.” You were given a closed space to mark your ballot, which you then handed to a clerk who fed the paper into the voting tabulator. Mine went through fine. Bertha’s was spit back out. The clerk looked at it, smiled at her, and said, “Ma’am, you put a checkmark by the candidate’s name. You’re supposed to fill in the oval.” She laughed, was slightly embarrassed, they gave her another ballot, and she got it right this time.
On the way to the car, I said to my schoolteacher/wife: “Honey, do you tell the students to read the directions before they take their test?” She gave me that look.
On the drive home I said to her, “I’ve not changed the clock in this car since we went on Daylight Savings Time. The truth is I’ve forgotten how to do it. I’ve had the car a whole year now, so I know I’ve done it before. But I don’t recall how.”