I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19a
Marie Kondo instructs that the best way to clean out a closet is to take everything out and only put back the things that “spark joy.” Well, most pastors feel like the last six months has been a huge closet cleaning of the entire church they serve and find themselves in the middle of reorganizing, regathering, refocusing and reinventing every aspect of the church and its ministries. Pastors and the churches they serve desperately need prayer support!
As a pastor in the midst of this same process, and having consulted with multiple other pastors along the way during the last six months, here is my answer to the question, “Pastor, how can we pray for you and the church?”
In praying for the pastors themselves, four areas rise to the top of my list;
- Never lose sight of your purpose: Exalt Jesus. Each pastor is in the midst of a sea of distractions, a myriad of decisions, a congregation experiencing a multitude of pains and he/she is hearing from a thousand voices about how to navigate this pandemic. They need prayer to keep focused on Exalting Jesus above all else.
- Soul Care. Pray for them to press into the Lord instead of leaning away. Pray that they would nurture the essential relationships of their family and ministry. Pray the Ephesians 1:15-19a prayer over them so that they grow in their knowledge of the Lord and His Presence.
- Leadership Wisdom. They need incredible wisdom to navigate and lead amidst the changing roles of their staff and their own leadership role. They also need to clearly see what ministries stay or go...don’t put anything back in the closet doesn’t need to be there any longer.
- Courageous Vision. This could be the most difficult part of the process for most pastors. They need extreme courage to see and identify the new direction for their congregation and the courage to share and execute that vision. Finally, for bold and courageous hearts to make the hard decisions concerning staff, programming and building issues.
As you pray for churches, these four areas are critical;
- Never lose sight of purpose: Exalt Jesus. Once again, EVERY MEMBER needs to avoid all of the distractions and voices that would cause them to believe that other things are more important. In the middle of so many pressing issues - health pandemic, racial tensions, political division and more – it is easy for people to put pressure on the Pastor and staff to move their agenda to the top. But the Church still exists to Exalt Jesus above all else. If we don’t, who will?
- Humility. There has never been a more vital time in our lives when the church needs to walk and serve in a spirit of humility. Let the power of Jesus work in our weakness and be exalted in our humility. The world desperately needs this modeled with authenticity.
- Commitment. Pastors are uncertain about so many things – the commitment of the members of the congregation and their willingness to pray, serve and financially support the church is high on that list. Pray for church members to commit to their congregation.
- Love your Neighbor. When a group of pastors asked the mayor of Denver what they could do to help their city, he simply answered, “Teach your people to be good neighbors.” Wow, where have we heard that before? Pray that Christ Followers will do what Jesus said, “Love their neighbors.”
Thank you for loving and praying for pastors and the churches they serve; it makes Jesus smile!
Lord, thank you for those who have answered your call to pastor and lead your bride, the called-out ones, the body of Christ on earth, the Church. Give them the wisdom and insight they need as they listen to the leading of your Spirit in them. Jesus, we ask that that you would open the eyes and ears of their heart so that they would KNOW YOU! As they grow in their knowledge of you would you increase their love for your bride! In the midst of these uncertainties and changes fill them with hope that comes from you alone. Increase their trust in you to lead the ones you love...knowing that you would only lead them to do what is best for your family, your children, your bride.
We pray as well for your Bride...that she would grow, adapt flourish and become a beacon of hope in a very dark time of the history of the world. We pray that she would turn her heart towards you and exalt you above all else. As so much of what she knew to be “normal” has been set aside for a while or lost all together, keep her focused on the essential, the one thing, the purpose for her existence on this earth, to exalt you in the midst of a spiritually sick and dying world so that as you are lifted up people will be drawn to you for healing and salvation and hope!!!
We ask all of these things for your continued glory and praise and in the name of the one true Lord and Savior, Jesus! Amen.
Grace Heartland Church
National Day of Prayer Board Member
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11TH IS PASTOR APPRECIATION SUNDAY! Take time this week to do something that shows your pastor how much you appreciate them!
Vote Your Values
In the weeks leading up to the election, we want to highlight this resource from Intercessors For America. Click on the box above to request a Vote Your Values Prayer Guide!