How to pray for your pastors and the Church as a whole
You have called many people I know into a holy and difficult calling: pastoring.
They step into battle week after week against spiritual and physical enemies.
They are called by you to lead my local church, which is part of the global church.
I pray you will protect and nourish my pastors' souls and spirits today.
I pray for their vision, clarity, compassion, and endurance.
I pray a hedge around their families and their emotions; be a rear guard against anyone how wants to attack them and to go before them into battle.
Because we are in a battle, all of us. But you have placed some special people on the front lines, and they are probably getting tired of it.
Church is hard for everybody. I wonder why that is?
I guess because we're all human. We're selfish, and we ruin every blessing that God gives us.
I pray for my church, and I pray for my pastors.
I especially ask you to protect them against attacks from believers because that discourages ministers more than anything else, even more than people who refuse the gospel.
They expect that.
But when the Church hurts the Church, that hurts all of us. We are all hurt when we hurt the leaders of the church.
We are at war against an enemy, but sometimes the enemy is ourselves. Lord, let that not be me.
Encourage my pastors. Protect them from wanting to quit shepherding their flocks, to compromise your message, to hide, self-medicate, or build their own kingdoms instead of building your kingdom.
I pray that whatever my pastors say or do, they will speak your words, directly from you and believe they have heard you correctly, even when it means they're unpopular and misunderstood.
I pray that my pastors will care more about pleasing you than pleasing men.
I pray that my pastors will speak fearlessly--will fully and regularly explain the whole gospel--so that the world will know that you are God. A gospel of suffering, service, and salvation.
I pray against the temptation to water down the gospel so lost people will like it or change it into a prosperity gospel so believers will want to stay in the church. Keep them (and us) from choosing rallying points that aren't the gospel that you preached when you came to earth.
I pray for the courage to be enchained by the gospel message alone, to suffering willingly, to endure for the sake of your reputation. I pray for the Church to remember that controlling this world's kingdoms was never your plan. Not once. That's what the enemy does.
You seek hearts. Seek mine. Seek my pastors' hearts, over and over, again and again.
Never give up on us.
Protect my pastors' families, finances, and futures. Answer my pastors' doubts about calling and success.
Remind them that they belong to you, they serve you, and they will be honored by you in heaven some day for their faithfulness to you.
May my pastors and my church be a beacon of love and acceptance in my community!
May it never be said of my church that we assailed, abused, or attacked our pastors or one another.
God, rebuke us if we do. (Your wrath is coming, if we do.)
Perhaps it's already here. And so, I must say--
I pray for repentance and discernment in my own life and my own heart. Work in me a humility and a contriteness.
May I never idolize my pastors, but may I never demonize them, either.
For that matter, keep me from idolizing or demonizing fellow-believers. I guess that's how we get cynical and divisive.
Convict me when I ignore the Holy Spirit and misconstrue it as the church's fault or my pastors' fault.
Oh, my, it's not possible to pray for my pastors without realizing where I'm wrong.
It's me. The problem is always my heart.
God, forgive me and change me and use my pastors in your service.
Thank you for them. Thank you, even though what they say and do often convicts me.
There you go, being merciful again to me by speaking truth into my heart.
I love you.
In Jesus' name,
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am in chains." (Eph. 6:19)