The pastor’s role is not easy, and it isn’t one that comes without opposition. As a pastor seeks to feed his flock God’s Word, comfort them when afflicted, protect them from danger, and minister the gospel to their souls, he has a target on his back. The enemy knows that “striking the shepherd will scatter the sheep” (Mark 14:27). Pastors need to be on their guards against the world, the flesh, and the devil which can subtly–or not so subtly–lure them away from serving the God they love.
To stand firm in the ministry and fulfill God’s calling, pastors need to be men of prayer and need the prayers of believers in their congregation. The Apostle Paul asked for prayer several times in his letters, for rescue from unbelievers (Romans 15:30-33), for a bold gospel proclamation (Ephesians 6:19-20), and that the word of the Lord would speed ahead and be honored (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). If Paul needed prayer, your pastor does too!
Praying for your pastor is joining him in ministry. Paul says in his letters, “…strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” (Romans 15:30) and “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” (2 Corinthians 1:11).
Your prayers for your pastor and your church will strengthen the work being done and be a service to him.
If you’re wondering how to pray for your pastor, below are several suggestions from Scripture for the pastor’s personal life, family life, and ministry life. The corresponding Bible verses listed provide a command or additional support on how to pray for pastors.
- 1 Pray for Your Pastor’s Personal Life
- 2 Pray for Your Pastor’s Family Life
- 3 Pray for Your Pastor’s Ministry Life
- 4 #1 – For Protection From Satan
- 5 #2 – For Protection Against His Own Sinful Heart
- 6 #5 – For Doctrinal Faithfulness
- 7 #7 – For A Strong Marriage and Family
- 8 Sustained By Prayer
- 9 Praying For Pastors
- 10 Sample Pastoral Prayers
- 11 Bible Verses for Missions
- 12 Prayer Request: Post Your Own “Pastoral Prayers”
- 13 Recent prayer requests…
Pray for Your Pastor’s Personal Life
- For him to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)
- To have a deep delight in the Word of God (Psalm 1:1-3)
- For deep satisfaction in Christ (Psalm 63:5-7)
- For a deep and vibrant prayer life (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- To model the character God mandates for leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9)
- That he wouldn’t be greedy, but content and managing money well (Titus 1:7; 1 Timothy 6:6-10)
- That he would watch his life and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:16)
- To be growing in holiness and in hatred for sin and evil (1 Thessalonians 4:3; Proverbs 8:13)
- To constantly walk by the Spirit and display fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 22-23)
- For him to find his identity first in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- For a transformed and a continually renewed mind (Romans 12:2)
- To display a spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2-3)
- For him to abide in Christ and receive spiritual vitality from Christ (John 15:5)
- That his life would constantly be increasing in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2 Peter 1:5-9)
- To be constantly growing in faith and the obedience of faith (Romans 1:4)
- To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)
- Model a life of faith and true religion that is unpolluted by the world (James 1:27)
- To enjoy adequate and nourishing rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
- Deep relationships with other believers who can hold him accountable (Proverbs 27:17)
- Protection against Satan and his schemes (Ephesians 6:11)
- That he would walk in a manner worthy of the calling he received (Philippians 1:27)
Pray for Your Pastor’s Family Life
- If married, that he would love his wife and cultivate a strong marriage (Ephesians 5:25)
- For him to lead his wife to be respectable, sober-minded, and faithful in all things (1 Timothy 3:11)
- To be a godly, dedicated, and loving father (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
- For his children to grow up in the fear of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)
- That God would protect their marriage from inside and outside attacks (Ephesians 5:28-33; Ephesians 4:27)
- That his family would be united in ministry and pursuit of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:20-25)
Pray for Your Pastor’s Ministry Life
- For his mouth to be filled with the Spirit’s words in conversation and from the pulpit (1 Corinthians 2:13)
- Faithfulness in preaching the Word and applying it to the congregation (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
- That he would preach Jesus Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23, 2:2)
- That his leadership, vision, and service would be in accords with God’s will (Philippians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 12:11)
- To be respected and well thought of by outsiders (1 Timothy 3:2, 7)
- That he would be a pray-er for the congregation (Ephesians 1:16, 3:14-19)
- To offer wise counsel and comfort to his flock (Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Galatians 6:1)
- To teach sound doctrine and rebuke those who oppose it (Titus 1:9, 2:1)
- To be wise in practicing discernment and carrying out church discipline (1 John 4:1; Philippians 1:9-10)
- To diligently work to rightly handle the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
- To be a disciple and a disciple maker who equips other disciple makers
- That he will persevere in ministry and through trials (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5; Galatians 6:9; Romans 5:25)
- That he would be disciplined and a hard worker (Titus 1:8; Col 3:23)
- To protect and shepherd the flock while following the True Shepherd (Ezekiel 34; John 10:11-16)
- To have patience and grace with difficult people (Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:3)
- For him to strengthen the weak, comfort the sick, bring the back the stray, seek the lost (Ezekiel 34:16)
- That your pastor and the church’s governing body would be united with their focus on Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10; John 17:23)
- To be hospitable and create a welcoming atmosphere in the church (Romans 12:13)
- To be a wise administrator and steward (1 Corinthians 12:27-28; Titus 1:8-11)
- For protection from the fear of man (Proverbs 29:25)
- For the church’s protection from Satan (Ephesians 6:12)
- To proclaim the Gospel boldly and clearly (Ephesians 6:19)
- For God to open a door for the gospel (Colossians 4:3)
- For his words to be carefully chosen, gracious, and seasoned with salt (James 3:8; Colossians 4:6)
- A proper alignment of priorities (Matthew 22:37-40)
- That he would avoid gossip, dissention, and unprofitable speech and lead others away from it as well (Ephesians 4:29)
What else should we pray for? Share your prayer ideas in the comment section below.
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.
#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 of 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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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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Here are a few sample Pastoral Prayers. If you know of a good example of a Pastor Prayers, please share it at the bottom of this page.
Sample Pastoral Prayers
Below are several prayers for pastors to use as examples for praying with their congregation. They include prayers for guidance, healing, strength for our leaders, and overcoming life’s difficulties.
For God to Guide Us
God of light, we have heard your message, proclaimed of old, that in you there is no dark cloud at all;
nothing exists that can hide the light of your presence. Forgive us when we cling to the shadows, failing
to heed your call to wake up and join the work of your reign. Send us to do your deeds of mercy and peace:
to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, touch the sick with your healing balm, console the sorrowing,
visit the prisoners, welcome the stranger.
Guide us in this time of shadows. Keep us from despair when we see that there is no peace in our cities
and no security in our places of higher learning. Lift our eyes toward you that we may see your face
shining on us and walk in your light. Comfort with your presence those who are living in the shadow
of grief, shattered by the loss of children, parents, spouses, friends, and colleagues. Give assurance
to all who are missing loved ones that the living and the dead are in your care, certain of being
joined again in the unbroken circle that will sing your praise forever. Amen
For Overcoming Life’s Difficulties
Our gracious and loving Heavenly Father, we come to you today in the name of Jesus.
It’s good to be able to come into your house and have this time to put aside the cares of life
and the busyness of living. We’re hurrying about, planning, preparing, fixing, organizing and
worrying about how everything is going to turn out.
Even while we’re here in church those thoughts
tend to drown out your voice and what you want to say to us. We DO want to hear from you because
we need to know again and anew today that you’re there and that you know us and where we are in our
walk with you.
For some here today this present moment is filled with disappointment or impairment or heartache
and their circumstances may be dreadful and filled with reasons for sadness or sorrow, they need
you and they need us and the comfort of being in fellowship with you and with each other.
We do receive uplift and encouragement from being here in your house. Help us to be sensitive
to the needs of our brothers and sisters and speak a word of encouragement or even give a sincere
smile or handshake. We do care about each other and we want to show it.
For Our Leaders
We pray for the leaders of our nation today and the many important and critical situations they face.
Give wisdom to our president and the cabinet members and the men and women in congress. We pray for our
military personnel stationed around the world and especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan. We know they
face dangers and the possibility of death day after day.
We pray for the defeat of the insurgents and the terrorists there and around the world that are plotting
evil and wicked schemes. Please give wisdom and unusual ability to those that are working to counter these
diabolical plans. We live in a dangerous and uncertain world, but we pray for your kingdom to come and your
will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We pray for our church and for all of our leaders as new plans and programs are finalized. We need your
guidance and your direction for us as a church. We want to be faithful to the sacred trust you’ve given to us.
It’s both a privilege and an awesome responsibility.
There are many among us today with special needs in their own lives and need your special
touch and reassurance right now. There are numerous physical problems and we don’t understand
why these things come in our lives and we’re tempted to question you and our faith is tested,
sometimes to the limit.
We pray that their faith will not fail during these days. Some have family and relationship problems, they need special grace to see them through. Bring healing and reconciliation to them
Bible Verses for Missions
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Want to organize a mission for your church? Check out these Bible Verses for Missions
Prayer Request: Post Your Own “Pastoral Prayers”
If you’d like, you can post your prayer below so the PrayWithMe community can help pray with you.
Rules for Posting: All prayers are posted publicly through to this site. Don’t use full names or any other identifying information that you wouldn’t want out on the web.
Don’t post with ALL CAPS, and try to use proper spelling and grammar.
If you can, help pray for others and post comments of support.
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