In yesterday’s post we looked at how you can serve your pastor or leader by not publicly disagreeing with him or her. Another important way to serve is by praying for your pastor.
I think prayer is one of the most talked about subjects in Christianity, and at the same time the most undervalued one. Praying for someone is the most important thing you can do, because it will change the other person, but even more important: it will change you. Praying for your pastor daily will help you understand him better, get more compassion and love for him, and ultimately will help you serve him better. I’ve worked under some difficult people and every time I discovered that prayer was the key to change…mostly in me.
Here are three ways in which you can serve your pastor or leader by praying for him (or her…because it gets so irritating to write his/her all the time, I’m gonna stick to ‘him’. That doesn’t mean women are excluded :)).
Make it a habit to pray for your pastor daily in your own prayer time. Ask him for specific things to pray about and actually pray for these. Also pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for divine wisdom in every decision. Pray for resistance in temptation. The devil takes great joy in bringing pastors down, so you can be sure your pastor is under attack as well. Pray for protection. If you happen to know your pastor’s area of weakness, pray for strength in this area specifically. Pray for his wife and family, the support of family is crucial to do a pastor’s job. Pray for unity in the board of elders, council or whatever leadership board your pastor is on. If you know about tough situations you’re pastor is involved in or has to deal with, pray for these specifically.
Don’t forget to do a follow up and ask what’s been going on in the topics you’re praying for! It will show your pastor you care about him and it may encourage you both to see prayers being answered.
Pray with your pastor
Ask your pastor if you can pray for him and with him on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to be for an extended period of time or every day, just five to ten minutes every now and then (say, weekly) will do the job. It’s always encouraging to have people pray for you and your pastor will appreciate it. It’s even better if you can pray for each other, so you can share prayer requests and pray for these. It will bring you closer together. You can easily combine this with a meeting, lunch, or any other ‘official’ encounter so it doesn’t take much extra time.
Spread the word about the importance of praying for your leaders and pray publicly for your pastor in a church service, meeting, small group etc. Not to show everyone how good you are (we all know how God feels about people praying just to look good), but to give an example how to serve your leaders. Show others how crucial it is to pray for your pastor. I am convinced that if more leaders would pray for their pastors, if more church members would pray for their leaders, it would make all the difference in the world. If you pray publicly, you obviously don’t pray for private prayer requests, but for general things everyone can know about and pray about.
Do you pray for your pastor or leader? How has this impacted your relationship with him/her?