Today is a good day to thank God for your pastor. It’s Pastor Appreciation Month, and I hope you’re on the lookout for ways to honor and encourage your pastors. I know I speak for many when I say that the pastors at my church work countless hours to make sure that our congregation and community are faithfully taught the Word of God, cared for, given wise counsel, and encouraged. So I emailed the senior pastor at my church and asked him for his practical input. He responded by telling me that prayer is the most important way that church members can encourage their pastors.
This prompted another email and another question: how do you want your congregation to pray for you? His answers are summarized below along with some short prayers that I’ve written for you to pray for the pastor(s) at your church. Expand on these prayers, add your pastor’s name, and add your own prayers to the list. Then consider reaching out to your pastor to ask for specific ways that you can pray for him, his family, and his ministry.
Pray that your pastor will . . .
1. Stay humble.
Jesus, Your Word instructs us to do nothing out of selfish ambition but to consider others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). As I consider this, Lord, I lift my pastor before You. Grant him a heart that remains steadfast in humility, constantly seeking Your guidance. As the world around us promotes self-love and self-reliance, protect him from pride’s allure. May he boast in his weakness so that Your power would be made known to all around him (2 Cor. 12:9–10).
2. Love the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind.
Lord, I’m humbled by your commandment in Matthew 22:37 to love You with all my heart, soul, and mind. My pastor cannot do this in his own strength. So I lift him before You, earnestly praying that his love for You deepens each day. May his heart be consumed by a fervent love for You. Lord, fill him with an insatiable hunger for Your presence and for Your Word.
3. Love the Word.
How I love your instruction! It is my meditation all day long. (Psalm 119:97)
Lord, may this be the heart cry of my pastor. May You ignite a profound love for Your Word within his heart. Instill in him a hunger for Scripture, a thirst for Your wisdom, and a passion to proclaim the Word faithfully. As he handles the Word each week, keep him from becoming numb to Your truth. Make him enamored by the endless beauty of Your Word.
4. Love his wife and manage his household well.
Heavenly Father, I pray that my pastor will cherish and love his wife as Christ loves the Church (Eph. 5:25). Grant him wisdom and discernment in leading both his family and our church family. May he prioritize the leading and nurturing of his own household in a way that reflects Your divine order.
5. Love and protect the flock.
Jesus, in John 10:11,You tell us, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” I earnestly pray for my pastor, that he will love the sheep entrusted to his care with a shepherd’s heart that reflects Yours. Grant him wisdom, compassion, and discernment to protect and nurture the flock and actively seek out what is best for us.
6. Not give in to discouragement and will find his satisfaction in Christ.
Lord, I lift up my pastor in prayer, asking that he will not grow weary in doing the good work of the ministry but find strength and satisfaction in You (Gal. 6:9). Renew his spirit daily, and give him fresh oil to do Your kingdom work. Keep him from discouragement, and let him find joy in faithful obedience to you (Psalm 16:11).
7. Fear the Lord more than man.
The fear of mankind is a snare, but the one who trusts in the LORD is protected. (Proverbs 29:25)
Lord, I pray that my pastor will not fear man more than he fears You. Give him a deep reverence for You, knowing that Your approval is the highest reward. Grant him the courage to speak Your truth boldly, regardless of human opinion. May his faith in You be unshakable, and may he lead with unwavering conviction, trusting in Your guidance alone.
8. Avoid the temptation to measure his worth by human achievement.
Jesus, I ask that my pastor would resist the temptation to see the ministry in terms of numbers rather than souls that you died to redeem. We live in a culture that is driven by success and numbers; may that not be the case for my pastor and our church. Remind him that You alone bring increase in ministry and that growth in the Christian life is rarely quantifiable. Help him to see each person impacted by the ministry as a human being created in Your image, with more value than just a number in the church census. Help him to disciple these individuals with wisdom and compassion for Your honor and glory, rather than for the increase of the ministry.
9. Be a servant.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Lord, may this be true of my pastor. Help him follow the example of Jesus, willingly serving Your flock with humility and love. Keep his heart focused on the needs of others, not seeking recognition or prestige for himself, but striving to meet the needs of our congregation. Grant him strength, patience, and a servant’s heart.
10. Rest well.
Lord, we know that rest is important because it reminds us of our dependence on You. Help my pastor see the need to rest and protect his day off. Lord, grant him the discernment to heed Your call to rest, even amidst the demands of ministry. Renew him each day for the work of the ministry and show him new mercy each morning.
Our pastors stand as faithful stewards of the gospel, navigating the intricate challenges of our day with unwavering dedication. Yet, their burdens are often silently borne, their sacrifices hidden from the spotlight. So please, pray for your pastor. Pray for his family. Pray for his ministry. Pray in confidence, knowing that you pray to the God who listens and will faithfully strengthen your pastor to do the good work of the ministry.
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about 10 Ways Your Pastor Wishes You Would Pray For Him.