by Joe McKeever
“Pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word …” (Colossians 4:3)
Regardless of the size of a church, the demands on the pastor are never-ending. No one you know stands in greater need of prayer.
Typical pastors are pushed to their limits several times a week, as they repeatedly learn they do not have wisdom sufficient, patience enough, or energy equal to the tasks at hand.
While to love the Lord Jesus is to love His church, those who love His church will appreciate and pray for the pastor.
“I will also pray with my understanding,” said the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:15). That being the best way to pray, we present here one week of prayers for our pastors.
We begin on Sunday night, after the work of the day is finished and the pastor tries to relax.
SUNDAY NIGHT: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23)
Father, we pray for Your shepherds, that having done the work You have given them, they will now be able to turn it all off and rest. Some of what they did was close to perfect and they feel great about it.
Some, however, could have been done better and they know it all too well. Perhaps they wonder if anyone was listening today, if anything was accomplished, if lives were changed. You alone know, Father.
May the pastors now leave it all with You, knowing their labors are not in vain in the Lord.
MONDAY: “His mercies never end. They are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
If Sundays are mountain peaks, Mondays are valleys. Pastors are tired and often discouraged. Pray for divine perspective and energy.
Father, this day is hard for your servants. Help our pastors to greet the new day with enthusiasm and joy, for Monday too is “the day the Lord hath made.”
As they assess what went on at church yesterday, perhaps with co-workers, please be present among them to guide their thoughts and conclusions.
Remind them “we walk by faith, not by sight,” and they are not the ultimate judges of how they did, what went right, or what God used.
Direct them as they plan their week and sow the seeds of righteousness. Give them appreciation and love for one another and for the flocks You have given them.
TUESDAY: “I never stop giving thanks for you.” (Ephesians 1:16)
Father, encourage our pastors. Let them see things happening in the lives of your people that affirm their leadership. Guide them in the choices on where to invest their time and energies, whom to visit, to counsel, to help, and how to make the most of this day.
We give You thanks for Your call upon their lives, and we pray for You to confirm to them daily that they are in Your will, exactly where You placed them, right on schedule.
Give them a heart for You, Father, one that wants Your will more than anything in this life. Because they trust in You, may they pray faithfully, laugh heartily, and love without reservation.
WEDNESDAY: “Pray also for us … so that I may make it known as I should.” (Colossians 4:3-4)
By mid-week, pastors are well into their preparation for next Sunday. Now is a critical time when an hour well spent can make a world of difference. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open the Word to them.
Father, we pray for our pastors as they open Your word to study. Bless their minds with sharpness, with understanding and joy in making discoveries in Your Word. May they see how Your truth applies in this life and our world.
Show them the connections between various doctrines, and call to mind lessons You have taught them in years past that are needed for this sermon.
May they wait on You, not rushing, not demanding, and not assuming. Give them a patient heart that wants nothing in the world so much as to know Your will and to please You. Give them good teachers and advisors, excellent study helps, and faithful insights into Your Word.
THURSDAY: “A wide door for effective ministry has opened to me—yet many oppose me.” (1 Corinthians 16:9)
Ministries without problems do not exist. No effective work is ever done for the Lord without the enemy attacking it. Those who go into battle for the Lord Jesus must be fully armored and always on the alert.
Father, we pray for our pastors as they deal with problems that come their way.
Give them wisdom and patience in dealing with difficult church members, understanding and love in helping the hurting, and courage and strength to handle the thrusts of the enemy whose purpose is always to kill, steal, and destroy.
Remind them daily that they are more than an overcomer through Him who loved us. And Father, as they deal with obstacles and problem people, give them a strong corps of godly colleagues who will stand with them and have their back.
May they never feel abandoned or forsaken, either by You or by us.
FRIDAY: “If anyone does not provide for his own family, especially for his own household, he has denied the faith.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
Pastors have families who need them. Their families frequently feel they are last on the pastor’s list of priorities and get only the scraps of time and energies. Pray for pastors as they lead their families.
Father, bless our pastors as they seek to bless those dearest to them. Give them wisdom as they minister to their families, relax with them, and show them love.
May their spouses feel both the love of the pastor and the solid love and appreciation of our congregation.
Take care of the children, Father. When with the family, help pastors not be distracted by the burdens of the church or the demands of the coming Lord’s day. May they live in the moment with these who mean everything to them.
And show the congregation what we can do to make their lives easier, their paths smoother, their days brighter.
SATURDAY: “With your minds ready for action, be sober-minded.” (1 Peter 1:13)
Saturdays are difficult for pastors. While others enjoy it as a day of rest, pastors are gearing up for the demands and opportunities of Sunday.
Father, be with our pastors today. Often on Saturdays, they are doing weddings and funerals while going over their sermons in preparation for tomorrow.
If they’re human—and they are—they become anxious. Thank you that You know our frame; You are mindful that we are but dust! We do not pray that our pastors will be rid of the eagerness for the services this weekend, but we ask that the anxiety and worry be removed.
May they go into this day gladly, with full excitement, knowing they are doing exactly what you’ve called them to do. May they enjoy to the hilt the privilege of living the high calling of God upon their lives.
SUNDAY MORNING: “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
This is the most important day of any pastor’s week. Preparation and prayer all week have been directed toward the few hours spent interacting with the Lord’s people today. Pray God will use our pastors mightily.
Father, we pray for the ones You have sent to our churches. They are yours and not ours. We are stewards responsible to You for how we treat them and follow their leadership.
Give us appreciative hearts, Father, and give our pastors courage to boldly declare the Word You have given them, no matter whose toes are stepped on.
May they work to please You and not us. And when they displease some by doing their job faithfully, may we stand by in full support, outspokenly thanking You for such leaders.
O Lord, make them the kind of people who crave nothing so much as to please You and fear nothing but causing You displeasure. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
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