Prayers of encouragement for pastors

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.

#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. 

Helpful Resource:

#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. 

Helpful Resource:

prayers of encouragement for pastors

#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. 

Helpful Resource:

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.

Read next:

  • 6 Signs Of A Bad Pastor and Spiritual Abuse
  • Tapping Into The Sacred, Overwhelming Power of Prayer
  • 16 Mighty Prayers For Children God Delights To Answer
  • Why Do We Pray? 3 Profound, Staggering, Compelling Reasons
  • How Do We Pray Without Ceasing?

I love pastors. Each week, through this blog and my personal ministry, God allows me to partner with dozens of pastors, helping them think through life and ministry issues. I’ve learned that many pastors struggle to find people who will invest in them and help them grow as individuals, leaders and pastors.

Recently I had a pastor ask me for my “best advice” for other pastors. Wow! That’s hard to say. I’ve learned so much through the pastors who have invested in me and by experience. It’s hard to summarize all that I’ve learned. It could probably fill a book or two…but at least more than one blog post!

I put some thought into the question and decided to come up with a list of encouragements, one that I would give to all pastors, to answer his question. I’m sure there’s more (and you can help by adding yours), but this at least a start. Of course, wisdom is transferable to other fields, so change a few words around and I’d give this advice to any leader…some of them perhaps to any person.

Here are 12 encouragements for pastors:

Photo Credit: Thinkstock4maksym

15 Bible Verses for Pastor Appreciation, Pastor Encouragement, & Pastor Appreciation Day – 15 Inspirational Scriptures of Encouragement for Pastors and Ministers.

A list of Inspiring Pastor Appreciation Scriptures present a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation to Pastors, whether it’s for your Pastors Ordination, Anniversary, or Retirement. These scriptures can be used to appreciate and encourage Pastors, Preachers, Teachers of the Word, and any Minister of God, not just on Pastor Appreciation Day, but every day – just to say: “Thank you Pastor”, “Love you Pastor”, “I appreciate you Pastor” and “I am Praying for You Pastor”!

I pray these are a blessing to you and yours!

First, we explore 15 Inspiring Pastor Appreciation Scriptures, which we can use to show love, appreciation and encouragement to Pastors anytime. Next, Please scroll down to the end for scriptures which encourage us to love, respect, encourage and appreciate our Pastors.

15 Bible Verses for Pastor Appreciation & Encouragement

Romans 1:8, ASV
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you…

1 Thessalonians 1:2, ASV
We give thanks to God always for you… making mention of you in our prayers;

1 Thessalonians 1:3, ESV
Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 9:13-14, NLT
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.

2 Samuel 2:6a, NLT
May the Lord be loyal to you in return and reward you with his unfailing love!

2 Samuel 2:6a, ESV
…May the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.

~ Numbers 6:24-26, NLT
May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.

1 Corinthians 1:4, NIV
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

Ruth 2:12, ESV
The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel…”

Isaiah 52:7, ESV
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation…

Psalm 37:23, NLT
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Ruth 1:8, NIV May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness…
Galatians 6:9, ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever, Amen.” ~ Adapted from Psalm 23:6, KJV

Philippians 4:19, ESV And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Philippians 1:3, NIV I thank God every time I remember you.

Bible Verses encouraging us to Show Appreciation to Pastors
Scroll up for 15 Bible Verses to Appreciate and Encourage Pastors

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, NLT Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
1 Timothy 5:17, NIV The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
1 Corinthians 9:14, NLT In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.
Thank you Pastors, Preachers, and Teachers of the gospel everywhere! May God bless you, protect you, and overwhelm you with his love, goodness, mercies and favor now and always, Amen!

prayers of encouragement for pastors

Thanks for reading, Dear Friends!
Have a wonderfully blessed, stress-free, productive, and joyful day!
Much Love & Blessings,
Bomi Jolly ~

Want to help? Get Daily Bible Verses Email – Free Inspirational Daily Devotional (Inspirational Bible Verses & Quotes; Inspirational Scriptures, Passages, Bible Scriptures)

Pastors have a very special calling on their lives, and they need to be appreciated, cherished and encouraged as much as possible. I read an article recently that stated that many pastors are retiring or changing careers these days, because it is such a challenging and difficult job. My husband is a pastor, so I truly know and understand the challenges that he faces on a regular basis. I know the crazy schedule that he keeps and the tireless hours he works on behalf of our church family. Jesus said that he came that we might have an abundant life (John 10:10), and I know that this is true for pastors as well. So here are my 7 top Bible verses to encourage my husband and all pastors.

Isaiah 40:31 “…but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

God is the one who has called each one of us with a special purpose and career, and pastors are no exception. I chose this verse to encourage pastors, because I believe that it is important for our shepherds to know that God has their back. He knows the sacrifices that they make selflessly for the body of Christ, and so it is the Lord who will renew their strength like the eagles. And even though they work hard, and run ahead leading the church, with God’s help they will not grow weary and will not faint.

Read 10 more encouraging Bible quotes

Jeremiah 3:15 “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

This is one of my top seven verses to encourage pastors, because the Lord is saying that it is He that is raising up and providing shepherds after his own heart. God is the one who has blessed and called pastors with the talents, skills, and heart that the Lord wants for his people. This verse also states that God is the one who gives shepherds and leaders the “food” for the sheep—in other words, He gives pastors the knowledge and understanding that they need to feed the sheep.

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

I believe that pastors get discouraged sometimes when things are tough or their sheep are struggling with various trials, so it is important for them to remember that they are working for the Lord. It is also helpful to focus on the fact that since their labor is for God, they do not work in vain. Although good seed is being planted, it can take time for the seeds to grow and thrive. It’s important for pastors to hold fast to the hope they have in the Lord, knowing that in Him, good will win out in the end. Disappointments and challenges will come, but the Lord encourages all of us, including pastors, to be steadfast and immovable no matter what.

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

This is a great verse to use in encouraging pastors, because it reminds them that their work is for a greater and eternal purpose. The Lord will give a harvest if they do not give up. Colossians 3:23-24 goes along with this verse, as the apostle Paul states, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” In other words, God will reward preachers and shepherds for their work, and there will be a harvest—both in their own lives and in the lives of their sheep. It’s easy to lose sight of the goodness of God while in the midst of daily tasks and weekly commitments, but God does everything to produce more of His goodness here on the earth. The work of a pastor is surely one of those avenues that brings glory to God.

prayers of encouragement for pastors

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

I really like this verse, because the Lord is telling all of us, including pastors, that He will supply all of our needs. Financial and spiritual challenges are quite common in churches, and it is easy to get discouraged when God’s timing for provision is different than ours. However, in His infinite abundance, God will provide for our every need according to His riches in glory. It is impossible to even imagine what God’s riches in glory entails, but this verse makes it very clear that he will provide for his people.

I Timothy 5:18 “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’”

Pastors labor continuously for the Kingdom of God, and they are deserving of their wages. Over the years, there has often been controversy surrounding a preacher’s pay, but in this verse the Lord clearly states that a laborer is worthy of his paycheck. An ox is a hard working animal, and this verse explains that it deserves to eat some of the fruit of its labor. Likewise, a pastor deserves to receive payment for his labor as well. Like a Father, God loves to bless His children, and He yearns for those children He has called to be pastors to thrive and succeed in their finances as much as anyone else. Not only are they providing a very real service for their local body of believers and community, they are also providing spiritual nourishment and encouragement with eternal consequences.

Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

In the book of Ephesians 4:11, the Lord explains that he is the one who has called us to be either apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and shepherds or pastors in his Kingdom. So I feel that this verse in Hebrews is very encouraging, because the author is reminding the sheep that they should submit to their leaders in obedience and joy. God wants our leaders to enjoy their work, as this calling is very important to the body of Christ.


Pastors are such a blessing to the church and to the Kingdom of God, and we need to pray for them and encourage them at every opportunity. Their job may seem thankless and even overwhelming sometimes, so lifting them up with words of encouragement, a note, or a small gift will go a long way in their lives. I would like to challenge you to pray about how you can encourage your pastor today, as one small act of kindness will go a long way in enhancing his or her joy and stamina on behalf of the body of Christ.

Written by Karla Hawkins

I feel blessed to be the pastor’s wife of a thriving church in northern Michigan and the mother of four amazing grown children. It is also very rewarding to be a Christian author, editor and translator for the Kingdom of God. Some of my favorite pastimes include supporting my children’s contemporary Christian band ONLY9AM, singing on the worship team at church, traveling, and connecting with family and friends via social media. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and especially with my precious three-year-old grandson.

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