By Dan Reiland
Nothing shapes the outcomes of your church more than prayer. The longer I lead, the more I understand and appreciate the prayers of faithful intercessors.
Your pastors (and church staff) are prime targets for spiritual attack. The enemy uses a lot of schemes to ensure everything from temptation to discouragement. If he can get to your pastors and church leaders—and even take them out—he can hurt the whole church.
Your prayers can and will make a difference.
Develop Prayer Rhythms
You can pray for your pastors daily, once a week, or every time the Holy Spirit prompts you. All prayer rhythms are good. Here is a practical plan:
1. Pray for God’s favor. God has given your pastors gifts, abilities, energy, and passion to accomplish the work of
ministry. However, without God’s power there are no eternal results.
- Ministry has always been a divine partnership. Your pastors do their part, and God does His part. Pray for that partnership.
- Ask God for an anointing on them. Pray for favor, the power of the Holy Spirit, and specifically for the salvation of many people!
2. Pray for spiritual vitality. Your pastors are not superhuman. They need to tend to their spiritual growth on a consistent basis. Imagine a good campfire: no matter how big the fire blazes, in time it will go out. The same is true within leaders’ souls. They need a rekindling of the fire.
- Pray that their love of God and relationship with Jesus will remain close, real, and fresh.
- Pray that they will have a white-hot heart for lost people. Ask God to give them timely biblical insights.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will stir within them a passion for prayer and that they will hear God’s voice.
3. Pray for leadership. Great pastors love their people and are good shepherds of their congregations. They
also need to be great leaders to sustain a growing and healthy church.I believe that—next to the favor of God—everything rises and falls on leadership.
- Pray that your pastors are not only open to growing as leaders but committed to that growth.
- Ask God to give them strength of character, wisdom in decision-making, and passion in preaching.
- Pray that God will grant your pastors clear and inspiring vision, along with the direction and strategy to achieve that vision.
4. Pray for their families. I’ve learned that when things are not going well at home, it’s very difficult to lead at church.If Patti and I argue, I can barely think straight until we resolve it and are in good relationship again.
We’ve been married 37 years and have learned much through experience and maturity, but the commitment required to maintain a good home life is still significant.
- Pray for the spouse and children of each pastor. Ask God to help them experience a deep and abiding love for each other.
- Pray for peace at home and protection from spiritual attack.
- Pray that the fruit of the Spirit will permeate their homes: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Pray that their homes are filled with laughter.
5. Pray for physical health. Poor health can limit the life and leadership of your pastors. I’m not a fitness nut, but I do
care about the physical well-being of spiritual leaders.Your pastors may think they don’t have time to exercise or practice preventative medicine. I do understand. But you can pray about this for them!God can intervene, and the Holy Spirit can speak to them about taking care of their physical health.
- Ask God to give your pastors stamina, energy, clear thinking, and strength.
- Pray for God’s physical protection over them.
As you pray for your pastors, pray in faith according to Jesus’ words in John 14:12–14: “. . . whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will
do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Your prayers for your pastors will help prosper your church.
DAN REILAND is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, GA. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as executive pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, CA, then as vice president of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. Dan blogs at danreiland.com.
Prayer Connect magazine, Issue 39