Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Pastor

From The Blazing Center:

The absolute, most important, best thing that you can do for your pastor is to pray for him.

I was freshly reminded of that fact this morning when I read 2 Corinthians 1:11 - "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."

This is Paul talking. The apostle. The dude who wrote a significant portion of the New Testament. The guy who got blindsided by Jesus on Damascus Road. The guy who had the whole “taken up to the third heaven and seeing things too glorious for words” experience. This isn’t a little ol’ Average Pastor With Minimal Gifting. We are talking about THE Apostle Paul who studied under THE Gamaliel. If anyone could feel sure of his ministry success it was Paul. I would expect Paul to say, “I am confident of my success in the Lord, but your prayers would also be helpful.”

But that’s not what Paul says. He says, “You also MUST help us by prayer.” There’s a hint of desperation in his voice. He is pleading for the prayers of the Corinthians. Why? Why does Paul feel such a deep need for the prayers of others?

Because he knows that the depth of his fruitfulness hinges on the prayers of others. He knows that he will not be successful unless he is propelled forward by the prayers of the saints.

That’s why he says that many will give thanks for the blessing granted through the prayers of many. In other words, Paul is expecting people to be grateful to God for his ministry and for the blessings that they have received through his ministry. But how did those blessings come about in the first place? Through the prayers of Paul’s friends! Paul’s ministry was fruitful because others were praying for him.

Your pastor desperately needs your prayers. I desperately need the prayers of the people in my church. The best thing that a person can do for me is pray on my behalf. The more people pray for me, the more fruitful my ministry will be.

So how can you pray for your pastor? Here are a few practical ways:

Pray that they will have spiritual and emotional endurance. Being a pastor is a wonderful job, but it can also be a very draining job. I need endurance to continue working with joy.

Pray that they will have rich fellowship with the Lord. The pastor’s power comes from the Lord. I need God to meet me and refresh week after week.

Pray that your pastor will be protected from temptation. If Satan can take down a shepherd, the sheep are much more vulnerable. I need the Lord to protect me from the temptations of pride, greed, lust, impatience, and a host of other sins.

Pray that your pastor will preach with power. Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, a sermon will be nothing more than an eloquent boatload of crap. I need the Holy Spirit to put power behind my words.
I cannot more urgently endorse those words. Any pastor is a fool who is not yet convinced of his desperate need for the prayers of God's people. When asked by people, "How can I pray for you?" (A beautiful question, by the way) my answer is usually the same: "Pray for me the way you pray for yourself. I'm a husband, father, and sinner. Also pray for me with reference to Paul's words in 2 Corinthians when he classified 'the anxiety of caring for the churches' alongside things like Roman scourging, being beaten with rods, being stoned and shipwrecked."

There is nothing more vital you can do for your pastor than pray for him as if his life depends on it, for it does.

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