Appreciating Your Pastor With Prayer
Rt. Rev. Edward Tatro, Jr., Anglican Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
October is right around the corner. Which means that cool weather is coming and then the cold weather. October has a lot things that I get excited about. For starters, baseball has their postseason and World Series. I love October baseball, especially when the Red Sox are in it. There is Halloween (our church does an event called Trunk and Treat) and the leaves change colors. It is also Pastor Appreciation month. I have been a part of churches that have done a lot during Pastor Appreciation Month and others that didn’t do a thing. I think that the best way to appreciate your Pastor is to spend time praying for her or him. And I hope that October will not be the only month that you pray for them.
Our Pastors need prayers because they are humans like us and are called to do a noble task on earth, leading God’s mission. Their job is to equip the saints for the work of the mission. I know that the joke is always that they only work on Sundays, but in reality they have a busy week. They have sermons to prepare, they offer counseling. They visit you when you are in the hospital. They are often called upon to perform weddings and funerals and usually they only have one day off a week. Compared to professionals in like careers with comparable education - they are usually and woefully underpaid. When you think about it, they are, in fact, busy and very much need our support.
These pictures are Pastors that I know that are asking you, my readers, to pray for them.
Pastor Randy Brown, Associate Pastor/Preaching Elder, No. Vassalboro Baptist Church/President, C-Rev
What are the areas we need to pray for our Pastors? Great question, below are my thoughts.
Sermon Prep: I have prepared a few sermons and it is a lot of work. I can’t imagine what it is like when you are preparing one every week. Pray that they will hear from God so they know what the church needs to hear. Pray for their time in the Word (Bible) so they can really understand completely what God is saying through it and by it.
Personal Bible Study: The temptation is there to think that their study for the sermon is all they need for their growth in the Lord. Pray that they will take the time for personal study and connect with God on a personal level and not only for just their ministry. They need this just as much as we do. My prayer for both of my Pastors is that this time will be rich with God’s grace.
Their Marriages: Our Pastors are marked men or women that Satan is after. And their marriages need to be strong. Just think of the damage they could do if they fail in their marriage. Let’s pray that they have time and energy to spend building up their marriages. That they will learn to love and respect their spouses better each day. Their marriages need to be a priority. What a great witness it can be to their community if their marriages are strong.
Pastor Will Pierce, Pleasant Street Free Baptist Church, Springvale, Maine
Children: It was once believed that if Pastors took care of God’s Church, then God would take care of their family. In many cases, their children stray from the faith. Luckily today many Pastors know that they need to spend time with their family. My prayer is that this will continue. That Pastors will say no to things at the church because of the needs of their kids. I also pray that other leaders in the church will step up and lead when the Pastor can’t be there.
Friendship: I have said it before in this blog, but it can be lonely at the top. Pray they can have friendships that are meaningful. This could be other Pastors or a childhood friend that they are still connected with. It is important that they have someone, or multiple others that they can turn to. It is tough leading a mission and they will need others to support them in all that they do. And they need someone that they can talk to if they are starting to feel a call to leaving their current church. Imagine that this is can be a tough conversation to have with members of the church that he or she leads.
Vision: I have heard it said that the people perish when they don’t have vision. Vision for a church comes from God and most of the time will flow from the Pastor to the church. Let’s pray that our Pastors will receive visions from God that will inspire the rest of the church into action. And to prayer. Our Pastors at UBC, my local church, have been doing a great job of casting vision for us that it is inspiring me to be a part of the church's mission.
Pastor Bruce Stevens, United Baptist Church, Old Town, Maine
Ask Your Pastor: I have signed up to pray monthly for my pastors through a program that Iron Sharpens Iron has set up. So, once a month I ask each Pastor how I can be praying for them. I even get the chance sometimes to meet with them just to pray for them. I have found that my Pastors appreciate me doing this for them. So, ask yours. I’m sure that they have things that weigh on them, like confidential issues that they would love for you to pray for but can't tell you about as governed by law and ethics.
Stress of Responsibility: The Bible says that Pastors will undergo stricter scrutiny in Christ's judgment than the rest of us, like Shepherds of a flock. The shepherd is responsible for the life of each one of the sheep in his or her congregation. They are responsible for the souls of these "sheep". How would you like to be responsible for a soul?
Your Thoughts: I know that you have them. Please share them in the comment section below or on the social media site where you found them.
Iron Sharpen Iron Pastor Prayer Team Link
- Pastor Prayer Team | Pray For and Affirm Your Pastor
Iron Sharpens Iron launched Pastor Prayer Team to assist every willing church in mobilizing a team of men who will cover the pastor in prayer and affirm him every day.
Pastor Brooke Gardner, City Reach, Old Town, Maine
I wonder if for the month of October we can commit to praying for your Pastors for all 31 days. I bet that they will feel appreciated, which is the whole point of Pastor Appreciation Month. I think I’m going to commit to that challenge and then challenge my friends to join me.
Full disclosure - one of my editors is a Pastor (not mine) - he REALLY appreciates this blog!
In the meantime, pray, pray, and pray. Of course, early and often.