Pastoral ministry is a business unlike any other. It is a dangerous business. A sacred business. A business where the souls of people are at stake.
I was a pastor for many years, so I have a feel for the perils and pleasures of ministry. It’s very hard, supremely rewarding work.
Gardiner Spring said:
It is at a fearful expense that ministers are ever allowed to enter the pulpit without being preceded, accompanied, and followed by the earnest prayers of the churches. It is no marvel that the pulpit is so powerless, and ministers so often disheartened when there are so few to hold up their hands…When the churches cease to pray for ministers, ministers will no longer be a blessing to the churches.
In light of the challenges of ministry, here are 8 prayers every church member should pray for their pastor(s) on a regular basis.
Table of contents
- 1 #1 – For Protection From Satan
- 2 #2 – For Protection Against His Own Sinful Heart
- 3 #5 – For Doctrinal Faithfulness
- 4 #7 – For A Strong Marriage and Family
- 5 Sustained By Prayer
- 6 Prayer for Faithfulness
- 7 Prayer for Quiet Time to Study the Word
- 8 Prayer for Rest & Good Health
- 9 Prayer for Provision
- 10 Prayer for Wisdom & Direction
- 11 Prayer for Fellowship & Good Godly Friends
- 12 How Do You Pray for your Pastor or Church Leaders?
- 13 Praying For Pastors
#1 – For Protection From Satan
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
If Satan can take down a shepherd of God’s people, the odds are much higher that God’s people will scatter. That they’ll become bitter and disenfranchised. They will question everything they’ve ever been taught by that pastor. Satan targets pastors because the damage is exponential if they fall. Pray for your pastor that he would be kept safe from Satan.
Father, please protect my pastor from the attacks of Satan. Give him the strength to endure temptation and stand firm against the accusations Satan loves to whisper in his ear. Help him stand firm in your service, always fighting for the faith and for his people.
#2 – For Protection Against His Own Sinful Heart
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
Pastors don’t fall because one day, out of the blue, they decide to dive headlong into sin. The slide into sin happens slowly, over time, in small increments, as the pastor believes the lies presented to him by his flesh. Pray for your pastor that he would be on guard against the lies of sin. Pray that he would have a proper fear of God.
Father, please protect my pastor from the deceitfulness of sin that we all are so prone to. Guard him from sin. Keep his conscience tender and fresh. Keep him close to you and close to your word.
#3 – For Deep Spiritual Encouragement
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11-12)
Pastoral ministry can be brutal, discouraging work. Pastors find themselves in the midst of terrible situations on a regular basis – divorce, death, apostasy, and much more. It’s also challenging because they don’t see progress in the sense that other jobs do. Christians are always in progress. Because of this, discouragement and depression can be a regular companion of the minister. Pray for your pastor to be encouraged.
Father, please encourage my pastor by the power of your Spirit. Let his soul be refreshed with the love of Christ. Let him have faith for the future. Help him to keep pressing forward even when the way is littered with landmines. Let him be refreshed by the fact that your grace is sufficient for him.
#4 – For Wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)
Many elements of pastoral ministry are not black and white. A husband and wife are in serious conflict, and the husband has one story while the wife has another. A church member needs financial support but has a history of mismanaged finances. A young man struggles with same-sex attraction while still wanting to follow Jesus. Pastors need God’s wisdom to navigate these gray areas.
Father, please give my pastor your wisdom. Help him know the way to go even when the way is not clear. Give him discernment to know good from evil, even when evil is dressed as good. Help him apply your word to even the most confusing situations.
#5 – For Doctrinal Faithfulness
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you (2 Timothy 1:14).
Pastors can be tempted to modify or even abandon biblical doctrines for a variety of reasons. Cultural pressures, vocal church members, even legal actions can press hard upon pastors, making them feel that the only way out is to give up the clear teaching of Scripture. They need God’s grace to stay faithful to the good deposit of God’s word.
Father, I pray for my pastor that you would help him hold fast to Scripture, even when everyone else tells him to let go. Help him stand on your word and only your word. Protect him from the temptation to abandon the precious truths laid out in Scripture.
#6 – For A Healthy Body
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Ministry can take a tremendous toll on a pastor’s body. Yes, our bodies are temples, but they are often broken temples. Long nights at the hospital, high-stress situations, and ever-present discouragement can quickly lead to burnout and body betrayal. Not only do pastor’s need spiritual strength, they need physical strength as well. Pray for your pastor that he would be sustained in body and mind.
Father, please give my pastoral supernatural strength. Protect him from sickness and disease. Give him your energy to keep serving faithfully. Help him to find periods of rest and recovery. Guide him to still waters.
#7 – For A Strong Marriage and Family
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church (1 Timothy 3:2-6)
Church history is littered with the skeletons of pastors whose marriages and families fell apart under the strain of pastoral ministry. And as 1 Timothy states, if a pastor can’t manage his family, how can he manage the church of God? Satan loves to sabotage a pastor’s family, and your pastor needs prayer that God will give him a healthy marriage and family.
Father, please give my pastor a supernaturally healthy marriage. Strengthen the bonds between him and his wife. Encourage them both in ministry. Give both of them wisdom to manage their family and to keep you at the center, not ministry. I also pray for their children that you would let them know you and follow you.
#8 – For Meaningful Friendships
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
Pastoral ministry can be surprisingly lonely. Something about being in a position of leadership isolates the man. People look to him to be a teacher and leader, not be their close friend. Pastors need close friends who will encourage them, hold them accountable, and push them toward Christ.
Father, please give my pastor true, deep, sustaining friendships. Give him friends who stick closer than brothers. Who uphold him when he’s weary. Who help carry his burdens.
Sustained By Prayer
In some ways, pastors are sustained by the prayers of their people. Obviously, God is the one who ultimately sustains pastors, but one of his primary means is through the prayers for pastors.
When it comes to why you should pray for your pastor, take the words of Charles Spurgeon to heart:
No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.
Do your pastor a true kindness today. Pray for your pastor.
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- Why Do We Pray? 3 Profound, Staggering, Compelling Reasons
- How Do We Pray Without Ceasing?
Leaders of churches and other organizations work very hard. I should know, I have been married to a preacher for many years. In addition to the regular activities such as leading church services and prayer meetings, many times the leaders in the church are called upon to do other things. These things might include visiting folks that are in the hospital, attending community events, providing counsel to people and even ministering to families that have lost a loved one. True, the leaders and pastors have been called to do these things but faithful prayers of the church are a blessing to these men of God. Here are 7 prayers for pastors or leaders that you might want to add to your prayer list.
Prayer for Faithfulness
Dear Lord, your word says many things about faithfulness, I pray now for our pastor that he will continue to be faithful to You and to Your church. Help him to always seek Your direction in his life and the life of Your church. I pray that he is faithful in all that he does, faithful to his commitments, faithful to his wife and family, faithful to his staff, but most of all I pray that he is always faithful to You in what you would have for him to do to accomplish Your plan for his life. Lord help him to be faithful to proclaim your name in all the earth. I praise you for this time that I have to offer up my prayer for faithfulness Lord and ask that you grant it in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Psalm 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Prayer for Quiet Time to Study the Word
Dear Lord, I am praying for my pastor (leader). I ask that You give him the time that he needs to be in Your word. I pray that You help us to remember why deacons were first elected in the church; so that the preachers might have time to be ministers of Your word. Help us to remember that we can do the things that need to be done that do not require the assistance of the preacher. Help us to give of our time and talent and to encourage others to do the same. I pray through Jesus, Amen.
Acts 6:1-4 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Prayer for Rest & Good Health
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask for your blessing upon our pastor (leader) that he might receive the rest that he needs from his long hours of work. Help me to remember that I can help my pastor (leader) by offering to volunteer my time and talents to do the things that God has gifted me to do so my pastor (leader) does not have to take on that task. Help me to remember to let him know how much I appreciate the time and energy that he puts into each and every thing that he does. I pray that he is able to eat right and get proper exercise so that he can remain healthy for Your work. I raise up this prayer in the name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Psalms 145:14-15 The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Prayer for Provision
Dear God in Heaven, we love you and know that your promises in the Bible are true. Please hold our pastor in the palm of your hands as he continually walks by faith, knowing that you will provide for his every need as well as the needs of his family. Please help him to remember what Jesus said about your generosity and loving kindness. Help him to know that you know every hair on his head and that he is much more than any sparrow. I praise you for all that you have already done for my pastor and pray that you will continue to bless him with everything that he needs. I pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Prayer for Wisdom & Direction
Dear God, I want to lift my pastor (leader) up to you in prayer. He needs Your wisdom and direction for Your church. Please keep him humble and always relying upon You to give him the perfect wisdom and direction that he needs. Help him to consider information offered by others and also to come to You in prayer as he evaluates things. Remind him of Your servant Solomon who when he was to become king prayed only for Your wisdom and because of his humility You granted even more than wisdom. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen
1 Kings 3:11-13 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Prayer for Fellowship & Good Godly Friends
Dear Father in Heaven, I pray that You will provide good and godly friends for my pastor. Friendships that will allow him to just be himself and will allow him to be held accountable as a brother in Christ. God he needs time away from the ministry to enjoy the fruit of his labor, I pray that You will provide good friends that will be his for a lifetime so that he may dwell together with them in unity. I pray that he is able to talk about the things of the Lord and that they may be able to encourage each other on how to remain faithful, committed and loving men of God. I pray these things by the power of Jesus name, Amen.
Psalms 133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
How Do You Pray for your Pastor or Church Leaders?
Do you have special prayers that you offer for your leaders? Or perhaps you have something special that you do to bless your pastor or other leaders. We would love for you to share in the comments below.
The Holy Bible, King James Version
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Home >> Scripture Prayers >> Praying For Pastors
Praying For Your Pastor is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are non ceasing. They must be covered in prayer on a daily basis.
This prayer can be personalized by saying his name instead of the word pastor. If you have a reverend or father as they do in the Catholic church, then you can use those words instead of pastor. Or you can prayer for all pastors.
Praying For Pastors
Ps 31:23……….Father, I thank You that our pastors are faithful,
Ps 31:23……….and that You preserve them.
Prov 28:20……..That they abound with blessings,
Gal 6:9………….and do not grow weary in well doing.
Phil 1:6………….That You who began a good work in them will perfect it.
Eph 2:10………..They are Your workmanship created in Christ Jesus,
Heb 13:21………and equipped in every good thing to do Your will.
Heb 13:21……….Work in them that which is well-pleasing in Your sight.
2Cor 9:8…………Let all grace abound toward them, having sufficiency in all things,
2Cor 9:8………..and an abundance for every good work.
2Cor 9:6………..Because they have sowed bountifully, they will reap bountifully,
1Cor 3:6………..and whether they plant or water, Father, You give the increase.
2Cor 2:14……….I pray that they continually triumph in Christ,
2Cor 2:14……….diffusing the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
Deut 28:2……….That all blessings come upon them and overtake them,
Deut 28:2……….because they obey the voice of their God.
Ps 32:8………….Instruct them and teach them in the way they should go;
1Cor 2:10……….reveal the deeper things of God to them by Your Spirit.
2Tim 2:21……….Let them be vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master,
2Tim 2:21……….prepared for every good work.
1Pet 5:2………..Shepherding the flock willingly, eagerly, and being an example to them.
1Cor 2:4………..Their speech and preaching is in demonstration of the Spirit and power.
2Tim 4:2………..And they are instant in season and out of season to preach the Word.
Josh 1:3…………Every place the soles of their feet tread upon has been given to them.
Deut 31:6……….They are strong and of good courage for You, Lord, go with them.
Ps 27:14………..They wait on You, and You strengthen them in their heart.
Titus 1:5…………Help them set in order things that are lacking,
Titus 1:5…………and appoint elders in every city.
2Cor 10:4………..I tear down the strongholds over the pulpit.
Ex 17:11…………I lift up our pastors and cover them
Heb 12:24……….with the blood of Jesus.
Deut 28………….Sickness and disease shall in no way come near them,
Gal 3:13…………for they are redeemed from the curse of the law.
Isa 54:17………..I say that no weapon formed against them will prosper,
Isa 54:17………..and every tongue rising against them shall be shown to be in the wrong.
Cor 12:11……….Father, let the gifts and anointings on their lives come forth.
Luke 1:45……….Birth the things that You have spoken to them in their hearts,
Acts 6:4…………as they continually give themselves to prayer
Acts 6:4…………and the ministry of the Word.
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By Kim Butts
Pastors are burning out at an alarming rate! As Christians, we should feel deep agony over this fact, especially since the main reason for it appears to be . . . us! The very Christians who comprise the congregations of pastors who are rapidly dropping out of ministry are most often the cause for it. God has not called us to criticize or damage our pastors. He has called us to love them (1 Cor. 13:1-13), to be submissive to their leadership (Heb. 13:17), and to pray for them (1 Tim. 2:1-2). The Father has called our pastors, and has ordained them to be our shepherds (Acts 20:28).
How can you pray effectively for your pastor and his family? The first thing that is needed is to make a commitment to pray for them daily. If your pastor knew that you, your family, and others were praying for him each day . . . can you imagine what an encouragement that would be? Would his heart be lifted if he knew that he could share a need or a concern with your family and you would take it to the Lord on his behalf? You know it would!
Most pastors and their families feel very alone in the midst of their churches. Often, they don’t have close friends in the congregation to whom they can go with burdens. They may feel that they can’t share needs because they, of all people, should have everything running smoothly. In truth, the pastor’s family is just like yours. They struggle with similar issues and problems. They desperately need others to come alongside of them and commit to fervent, continuous prayer so that the enemy won’t have the opportunity to do damage. Your pastor’s ministry will only be as effective as the prayer that fuels it. If you want a joyful, Spirit-filled shepherd, who confidently leads his congregation into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and demonstrates a passion for revival and for reaching the lost, then you must pray for him, and for his family!
Here are some specific ways that your family can pray for your pastor and his family:
Pray that your pastor will always have a passion to know Christ more intimately.
Prayer: Father, help our pastor to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings (Phil. 3:10). Since we know of his faith in the Lord Jesus and his love for all the saints, may we never stop giving thanks for him, always remembering him in our prayers. We will keep asking that You, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, will give him the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that he may know You better (Eph. 1:15-17).
Pray that your pastor will minister out of a humble spirit.
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, would You help our pastor to humble himself before You and under Your mighty hand, so that You will lift him up (Jas. 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:6)? Guide him in what is right and teach him Your way (Psa. 25:9). May our congregation see that he is wise and understanding as shown by his good life, and by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom (Jas. 3:13). Father, You have said that the one You esteem is he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at Your Word (Isa. 66:2). May our pastor be such a person!
Pray that your pastor will minister from the Spirit’s power.
Prayer: Gracious Father, may our pastor’s messages and preaching come to us, not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that our faith might not rest on the wisdom of man, but upon Your power (1 Cor. 2:4-5). Help him never to depend upon his own might or power, but always upon Your Spirit, Lord Almighty (Zech. 4:6). May You, the God of hope, fill our pastor with all joy and peace as he trusts in you, so that he may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13).
Pray that your pastor will be a man of prayer and of the Word so that he can live a holy and pure life.
Prayer: Glorious God, we pray that our pastor will seek You with all of his heart. Help him never to stray from Your commands. May he hide Your Word in his heart so that he will not sin against You (Psa. 119:10-11). Give him deep desire to meditate on Your precepts and to consider Your ways. May he delight in Your decrees and never neglect Your Word (Psa. 119:15-16). Give him understanding so that he will keep your law and obey it with all of his heart. Direct him in the path of Your commands where he will find delight. Turn his heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain, and turn his eyes away from worthless things. Preserve his life according to Your Word (Psa. 119:34-37).
Pray for your pastor’s family.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, may our pastor fear You so that he will have a secure fortress that will always be a refuge for his children (Prov. 14:26). May he consistently teach his children to revere Your commands by following his example (Psa. 34:11), so that they might be blessed (Psa. 112:1-2). Help him to manage his family well so that his children will obey him with proper respect (1 Tim. 3:4-5). May he love his wife just as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25). Help him to be considerate and respectful to her so that nothing will hinder his prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Faithful Lord, strengthen and protect our pastor and his family against the attacks of the enemy (2 Thess. 3:3), and may their household always choose to serve You (Josh. 24:15).
Pray for protection against the schemes of the devil.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help our pastor to be strong in Your mighty power. May he continually remember to clothe himself with Your armor so that he can take his stand against the devil’s schemes. Help him to remember that his struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Help him to stand his ground and to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around his waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with his feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition, help him to daily take up the shield of faith so that he can extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. May he put on the helmet of salvation and use the sword of the Spirit, Your Word. Give him the desire to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Help him to be continually alert, and to keep on praying for all the saints (Eph. 6:10-18). Don’t let the devil establish a foothold in any area of his life (Eph. 4:27). Help him to have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap (1 Tim. 3:7). May he continually submit himself to You, Father, and may he be self-controlled and alert in order to resist the devil, standing firm in the faith, so that the devil will flee (Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). Keep him from temptation and deliver him from the evil one, Lord (Matt. 6:13).
Pray blessing into the life of your pastor and his family:
O Lord, our Rock and Redeemer, may the words of our pastor’s mouth and the meditation of his heart be pleasing in Your sight (Psa. 19:14).
May You, O Lord, give our pastor the desire of his heart and make all of his plans succeed (Psa. 20:4).
Lord, our God, may Your favor rest upon our pastor and establish the work of his hands (Psa. 90:17).
God of hope, may You fill our pastor with all joy and peace as he trusts in You, so that he may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13).
Lord of peace, may You give our pastor and his family peace at all times and in every way (2 Thess. 3:16).
May You, the God of peace, equip our pastor with everything good for doing Your will, and may You work in him what is pleasing to You, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Heb. 13:20-21).
Becoming the Answer
Now that you have prayed for and blessed your pastor and his family, here are some practical ways to care for, encourage, and show your appreciation to them:
• Submit to the spiritual authority of your pastor and encourage others to do the same.
• Extend hospitality to your pastor and his family by inviting them to your home for a meal or including them in family activities. Think of other creative ideas.
• Recognize that your pastor’s family goes through the same struggles as everyone else’s families and be empathetic rather than critical.
• Give your pastor and his wife time together while you care for their children or hire someone to do so.
• Fix a meal and take it to them with an encouraging note.
• Take a basket of items such as fruit and nuts, freshly baked bread, etc.
• Send notes of encouragement and appreciation from your whole family; have your children draw pictures or write their own notes.
• Find out if there are any needs in their home that need attention: leaky shower, car repairs, yard work, etc. and see that they are taken care of.
• Recruit as many people as you can to pray regularly for your pastor and his family. Try to cover them in prayer seven days a week.
• Encourage your church leaders to send your pastor on a spiritual retreat so that he can be renewed and refreshed by the Holy Spirit.
Use your imagination. There are so many things you can do to show your love and appreciation.
Be determined to pray for and care for your pastor and his family, and allow the Lord to work in and through you by encouraging other families to do the same. Your simple efforts will do much to advance the cause of Christ in your church and community, as God does a mighty work in and through your pastor’s life. May your prayers and those of many others in your church, along with expressions of kindness, care and appreciation, keep pastors and their families safe, joyful and productive for many years to the glory and honor of Christ Jesus, our Lord!
Kim Butts is a vice president of networks for Harvest Prayer Ministries. She is also the author of The Praying Family.