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 #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 Pray for Your Pastor’s Personal Life
- 7 Pray for Your Pastor’s Family Life
- 8 Pray for Your Pastor’s Ministry Life
- 9 Prayer for Faithfulness
- 10 Prayer for Quiet Time to Study the Word
- 11 Prayer for Rest & Good Health
- 12 Prayer for Provision
- 13 Prayer for Wisdom & Direction
- 14 Prayer for Fellowship & Good Godly Friends
- 15 How Do You Pray for your Pastor or Church Leaders?
- 16 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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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.
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.
Servant of the Word. Husband. Blogs weekly at Anchored in Christ. Content Strategist/Trainer in Latin America with Leadership Resources International.
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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