Praying for the church leadership

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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.

praying for the church leadership

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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.

Sources:

The Holy Bible, King James Version

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Prayers for Our Churches and Leaders

Lord, raise up in your church
more leaders after your own heart
to guide us with courage and wisdom.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

God of mercy,
free your Church from sin
and protect it from evil.
Guide us, for we cannot be saved without you.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

God our Father,
you raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Your church, O Lord Jesus, is a haven for sinners, the place where we hear words of forgiveness and receive the blessings of Your sacraments. As we meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we see our strengths as well as weaknesses. Yet You have called us together so that the important work You entrusted to Your church can be done. We ask Your blessings on our worship, Bible studies, and our teaching. Let us never lose sight of the Great Commission You have given that we are to bring the Gospel to all. Bless our mission outreach that salvation might be known near and far. We ask this for the sake of Your holy church and the glory of Your name. Amen. We thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving to us pastors and all workers in the church. They proclaim to us the message of Your love in Christ, which brings forgiveness and salvation. They equip us so that we can serve You. Give them a strong faith. Prepare them to meet the challenges that face Your church. Help them to find joy in working with one another and with the members of the congregation. Bless their marriages and families. Let them show forth the joy that comes only from knowing and serving You. Teach us to love, honor, and respect them as messengers sent from You. Grant to us Your richest blessings as we together with them build Your kingdom. In Your holy name we pray. Amen. 

Lord, watch over your Church,
and guide it with your unfailing love.
Protect us from what could harm us
and lead us to what will save us.
Help us always,
for without you, we are bound to fail.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Father,
keep in your people the Holy Spirit.
Let your church be continually renewed
and show the image of Christ to the world
by being conformed to his likeness,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Bless those who teach, dear Father. Instill in them love and respect for their students. Help them to be diligent in their preparations. Give them the skill to inspire and enlighten those entrusted to their care. Provide patience when they struggle with those who are difficult or slow to learn. Make them wise so they might have discernment and know what is truly important. Let them be accepting like Jesus when people come to them for help. Allow them to have joy in their work and a knowledge of their value to society. May all their efforts be to Your eternal glory. We pray in the name of Your Son, our only Savior, who was the greatest teacher of all. Amen. 

Lord, help us to do your will
that your Church may grow
and become more faithful in your service.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Father,
from living stones, your chosen people,
you built an eternal temple to your glory.
Increase the spiritual gifts you have given to your Church
that your faithful people may continue to grow
into the new and eternal Jerusalem.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

God our Father,
you will never allow the power of hell
to prevail against your Church,
founded on the rock of the apostle Peter.
Keep us faithful to your truth
and secure in your peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Lord Jesus Christ, we confess:
that we have sinned against you, by sinning against our brothers and sisters,
that we have not always endeavored to maintain the bond of unity,
that we have not always been ready to pray together,
that we have not always been ready to forgive and to ask forgiveness,
that we have not always believed that unity is even possible,
that we can do more, we can love more and we can believe more.
Forgive our sins, O Lord, rekindle our love and renew a right spirit within us.

God our Father, pour out the gifts of Your Holy Spirit on the world.

You sent the Spirit son your church to begin the teaching of the Gospel,
now let the Spirit continue to work in the world,
through the hears of all who believe.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Return to Daily and Specific Prayers

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