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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This month’s article is dedicated to the very special people upon our future most rests. That vital group is pastors and church leaders. Today’s leaders face spiritual attacks and pressures like few generations in American history. If ever there was a time church leaders needed encouragement and prayerful support that time is now! It is also vital that we go deeper than the occasional “bless them” prayers that characterize far too many. We must learn to pray biblically, consistently and specifically.
Churches seldom rise above the spiritual power of their leaders. Conversely, leaders seldom rise above the depth and effectiveness of those who pray for them. Oklahoma is blessed with some of the finest pastors and church leaders in America. May God find us faithful in praying specifically and powerfully for our leaders. To encourage effective support for our leaders, consider 10 Bible-based prayers for regular intercession.
1. Pray for your pastor and leaders to have an overwhelming sense of God’s presence and power. Pray that all areas of their lives will be God-focused and surrendered to Christ. (Dan. 11:32; John 15:4-8)
2. Pray that he has deep conviction of sin, reverential fear of God and full surrender to Christ’s Lordship. Pray for his eyes to be open and his heart sensitive to the enemy’s subtle attempt to get him into compromise and sin. Pray that he walks victoriously by grace through faith and avoids legalism. (2 Cor. 7:10; Phil. 2:6)
3. Pray for your shepherd and leaders to daily experience the mighty anointing, power and fullness of the Holy Spirit. Pray that he will daily seek spiritual unction from above. Pray that the joy of the Lord will ever be his strength. (Acts 1:4-5; Eph. 5:18; Neh. 8:10)
4. Pray for a wall of protection from the world, flesh and devil. Pray that he would recognize the wiles of Satan and that every thought be taken captive to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-13)
5. Pray for your pastor and leaders to have powerful mountain-moving prayer lives through deep daily abiding in Christ. (John 15:4-5; James 5:16)
6. Pray for your pastor and leaders to have deep spiritual passion with fervent love for God and people. Pray that they will observe a personal Sabbath rest and not become burned-out. (Matt. 22:37-39; 1 John 4:7-11)
7. Pray for your pastor and leaders to be filled with holy boldness, courage and mountain-moving faith. (Josh. 1:6, 9, 18; Matt. 17:20; Heb. 11:6)
8. Pray for your pastor to preach God’s whole counsel and not give in to the fear of men. Pray that he will not fall victim to the modern trends of preaching that is unbalanced and shallow. (Acts 5:29; 20:27; 2 Tim. 2:15)
9. Pray for your pastor and leaders to have keen sensitivity to God’s voice. Pray that they will lead by God’s revelation rather than the ideas and plans of men. (Prov. 14:12; John 10:27; Eph. 5:16)
10. Pray for him to have godly relationships and powerful protection upon his family. Pray that he leads his household in strong family prayer. Pray that his household will be an example of godliness. (Matt. 5:23-24; 6:14-15; Eph. 5:25-6:4; 1 Peter 3:7)
From, Praying God’s Heart In Times Like These. For information, contact the BGCO Office of Prayer at [email protected] or 405/942-3800.
The following is from Pray Magazine…
Pastors are under attack today as never before. That is why it is so important to hold them up in prayer. But unless they have requests or are aware of specific needs their pastors have, many people do not know what to pray on a regular basis for them.
Here are some sample Scripture-based prayers. Each one was written with a specific need in mind. You can use them one at a time, or pray all of them in the order you feel is best for the spiritual needs of your pastor.
These prayers are simply models and suggestions. Use them to get started or to get ideas about what to pray.
- I thank You, Father, that Your eyes are on my shepherd and Your ears are attentive to my pastor’s prayers and Your face is against those who plot evil against my pastor (1 Pet. 3:12). For I know that in all things You work for the good of _____ (insert your pastor’s name) who loves You (Ro. 8:28). Who can accuse this pastor who is daily interceded for by Christ Jesus? (Ro. 8:33–34). Therefore, in all things my pastor is more than a conqueror (Ro. 8:37). Thank You, God.
- Lord, I pray for discernment in exposing any schemes of the enemy against my pastor. Show our congregation how to pray against all powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of darkness in heavenly realms. And, Lord, protect us as we wage warfare on behalf of our pastor (Eph. 6:11–12).
- Father, I thank You that no weapons formed against my pastor will prosper. Every tongue raised against my shepherd will be cast down. Rumors and gossip will be turned aside. For _____ will be still before the Lord and wait on You. My pastor will dwell in the shadow of the Most High God and will be delivered from terror, darts of doubt, and diseases (Ps. 91:5–6). Set Your angels about my pastor (Ps. 91:11) and no power of the enemy shall harm _____ (Lk. 10:19). Thank God forevermore!
- Lord, let _____ have a discerning mind to prioritize the precious minutes in the day. Let my pastor discern what is most important and be guarded against the tyranny of the urgent (2 Cor. 11:14, 1 Jn. 4:1).
- Father, allow my pastor to glory only in the cross (Gal. 6:14). Keep my pastor from pride and pity. Let the cross be his reason for ministry.
- Renew my pastor in the Holy Spirit. Let my pastor wait and mount up with wings (Is. 40:27–31). Quicken my shepherd’s body with the Holy Spirit (Ro. 8:11). Renew _____’s vision and confidence (1 Jn. 5:13–14).
- Jesus keep my pastor holy in every way (1 Pet. 1:16). Protect my shepherd from seducing spirits especially when he/she is tired and hard-pressed. Give _____ comrades to help protect him/her, and to share with in personal holiness (Jas. 4:7). As my pastor draws near to You, draw near to my pastor (Jas. 4:8).
- I pray that the eyes of my pastor may be enlightened to know the hope to which we are called and know the riches of our glorious inheritance in the saints. Let my pastor know the incomparable great power which is in us who believe (Eph. 1:18–19). Let _____ see the full revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12). Place in him/her a desire to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Phil. 3:10).
- Lord, as my shepherd spends quiet time with You, shed Your love abroad in his/her heart. Let my pastor know how much he/she is loved (Ro. 5:5). In Jesus’ name let the love of God be my pastor’s mainstay in ministry. So be it!
- Lord, I lift up the hands of my pastor and his/her family. Place them in the shelter of the Most High to rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, You are their refuge and fortress. You will preserve their family time. You will cover their home. Your faithfulness will meet their financial needs in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). You will command Your angels to guard them as they travel and win the lost. You have said, “I will be with in trouble, I will deliver and honor . With a long life, I will satisfy and show my salvation” (Ps. 91:15–16). In Jesus’ name I cancel all assignments of the enemy against them.
- In Jesus’ name I speak to church hurts, abuse, and ungrateful forces to move. I speak to mountains of criticism and inordinate expectations to be cast into the sea. I speak to stress, excessive phone counseling, and fatigue to be cast into the sea, and I believe every need, vision, and dream of _____’s will be completed (Mk. 11:22–24, Phil. 4:19).
- Forgive those who hurt _____ and speak against him/her, and may my pastor walk in forgiveness (Eph. 4:32–5:1). Guard my pastor from futile thinking (Eph. 4:17) and a vain imagination. Let every thought be taken captive to obey Christ(2 Cor. 10:3–5).
- In Jesus’ name I bind the fear of failure and the fear of humankind (Jn. 14:1). Let _____’s confidence not be eroded by the daily resistance to the gospel or his/her vision. Allow my pastor to fear God more than people.
- Father, heal my shepherd’s heart of any grief caused by ministry. Bestow on my pastor a crown of beauty instead of ashes and anoint him/her with the oil of gladness instead of mourning. Clothe my shepherd with a garment of praise instead of a spirit of depression. I call my pastor an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord to display Your splendor (Is. 61:3).
- Jesus, You said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me . . .. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (Jn. 14:1, 27). Apply these promises to _____. Let my pastor know the plans You have for him/her, plans to prosper, plans to give hope and a future(Jer. 29:11).
- Keep my pastor in the midst of good and exciting worship. Keep my pastor from the traditions of men and religion which hold the form of godliness, but deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5). Give _____ a vision of heaven (Isaiah 6,Revelation 4).
- With my shield of faith I cover my shepherd’s mind to quench all flaming darts of doubt or vain imagination or mental distractions (Eph. 6:16, Col. 2:6–8). Let the mind of Christ be strong in my pastor (1 Cor. 2:16).
- Lord, I stand against the enemies of my pastor’s prayer life: “busyness” (Acts 6:2–4), compulsions, compromise (Acts 5), unnecessary phone calls, chronic counselees, fatigue, sleepiness (Mt. 26:41), appetites, television, late meetings, over-commitments, and doubt. Let nothing hinder _____’s time with You. Let my pastor rise up to seek You (Mk. 1:35), pray with other pastors (Acts 1:14), and pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). Give my pastor the time, the desire, and the place to pray (Acts 16:16). I rebuke in the name of Jesus any distractions from my pastor’s devotional life.
- Send the spirit of prayer upon _____ (Acts 1:8, Ro. 8:26). Send others to join us in praying for our pastor (1 Tim. 2:1–8).
- God, I say that _____ will stand firm. Nothing will move my pastor (1 Cor. 15:58). May my pastor always give himself/herself fully to Your work because my pastor’s labor is not in vain.
- Lord, keep my pastor from comparing himself/herself with other pastors, churches, or salary packages. Guard my pastor’s heart from competition and unhealthy ambitions (2 Cor. 10:18). Deliver _____ from the numbers trap, and give my pastor a genuine concern for lost souls (Lk. 19:10). Lord, You advance my pastor. Let my pastor not be caught up in any political quicksand; keep only Jacob’s ladder, not a career ladder, before my pastor (Gen. 28:12).
- Bless my pastor with rich study time (Acts 6:4, 2 Tim. 2:15).
- As _____ preaches, let him/her proclaim Jesus Christ (Col. 1:28). Let my pastor’s preaching be in the energy of the Holy Spirit.
- Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, anoint _____ to preach, and bring apostolic results (Acts 2:37). As my pastor speaks the Word, let signs and wonders follow confirming it (Mk. 16:20). Let the sick be healed; let the oppressed be set free. Anoint _____ with the truth (Mt. 16:17). Let people be cut to the heart and accept Jesus Christ.
- Lord, as You have promised, grant my beloved shepherd lasting fruit (Mal. 3:11, Jn. 15:16). Let my pastor’s converts become disciples who in turn disciple. Bless my pastor with disciples who grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Lord, keep my pastor in the fear of God. Let my pastor not fear people (Prov. 19:23). Give _____ boldness to confront sin and church controllers. Honor my pastor’s stand for You. Come to my pastor’s rescue. I claim Psalm 35 for my shepherd.
- O Lord, take my pastor’s hand so that he/she will not fear. Lead my pastor through difficult times. Let my pastor know that You are near and that You are his/her God. My pastor will not be dismayed. You will strengthen my pastor and help and uphold him/her with Your righteous right hand (Is. 41:10).
- O God, allow _____ to enter Your rest (Hebrews 4, Mt. 11:28). Put Your yoke on my pastor. When my pastor is heavily laden or burdened, may he/she find comfort and peace in You, refreshed and renewed by Your power in every aspect of his/her life.
- Lord, make my pastor strong and filled with courage for every task (Joshua 1). let my pastor lead us to inherit our city for You. Thank You for being with _____.
- In Jesus’ name, _____ shall fight the good fight of faith, fleeing from evil to God by pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness (1 Tim. 6:12). I praise You, Lord, that You have taken hold of this special shepherd in the personal experience of eternal life.
Expect, Stand, Yield
Finally, expect all that you have prayed, stand behind your pastor, girding him or her in prayer, and yield to the Spirit for other areas of prayer and intercession!
By Chuck Lawless
In the late 1850s, a global spiritual awakening began when one man in New York City established a noonday prayer meeting and called the city to prayer. Indeed, most awakenings have begun with a few praying people who invite others to join them.
With that historical backdrop in mind, I wonder what might happen if congregations begin to pray the following prayers for church leaders. Would you pray these prayers for church leaders today, and then invite others in your congregation to join you?
1. Pray they will keep their eyes on God.
King Jehoshaphat faced three combined enemy armies, and he did not know what to do – except to lock his eyes on God. That’s the answer any time we have no clue about next steps.
“For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to You.” (2 Chron. 20:12, HCSB)
2. Pray they will not take a step apart from God’s leading.
Moses prayed this prayer when God would send only an angel to lead His people after their fiasco with the golden calf. He would rather the people not start the journey if God Himself were not leading them.
“If Your presence does not go,” Moses responded to Him, “don’t make us go up from here.” (Exod. 33:15)
3. Pray they will beware of relying on their own strength.
David, who knew the Lord is the one who fights for him (1 Sam. 17:47), trusted in his own might when he took a census of the Hebrew armies. Recognizing his sin, he prayed a prayer most leaders need to pray at some point:
“I have sinned greatly in what I’ve done. Now, Lord, because I’ve been very foolish, please take away Your servant’s guilt.” (2 Sam 24:10)
4. Pray they will be wise in leading God’s people.
When Solomon might have asked for much more, he instead asked God to give him a “listening heart” as he governed the people of God. All of us who lead congregations need this wisdom.
“So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kgs. 3:9)
5. Pray they will weep over the sin and failures of God’s people.
In my experience, the best shepherds are those who genuinely grieve the spiritual brokenness of the people they lead. Like Nehemiah when he heard about the damaged walls of Jerusalem, they are themselves broken when they see the results of spiritual decline.
“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Neh. 1:4)
6. Pray they will know when to push away from the crowds to pray.
Ministry is time-consuming, and needs are ever before us. Nevertheless, leaders must have time alone with God to be renewed for the work – just as Jesus did.
“But the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15-16)
7. Pray they will walk worthy of their calling.
If we pray more for church leaders today, it’s likely fewer will fall tomorrow. We must pray they walk in obedience and bear fruit, just as Paul prayed for the Colossian believers:
“we haven’t stopped praying for you . . . so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:9-10)
8. Pray they will speak the gospel boldly.
Paul wrote from a prison cell – his punishment for preaching the Word – but still he sought prayer support to continue his evangelizing. If Paul needed such prayer, surely church leaders do today.
“Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” (Eph. 6:19)
9. Pray they will finish well.
Those church leaders who finish well PLAN to do so; that is, they choose from the beginning to stand against the devil and glorify God. Pray that your church leaders can one day echo these words of the Apostle Paul:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7).
What other ways might you pray for church leaders? As a leader, how would you like the readers of this post to pray for you?
Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.