Jeremiah 29:12, “Than you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you”
Prayer for a believer is a privilege and one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. It allows us to have access and talk to the God who spoke into existence the heavens and the earth. There is no secretary to screen His calls. No need for a decision on whether or not we should bother Him. No need to leave a message so that He can get back to us later.
Thus, the privilege of prayer is available to all who have trusted Christ as Savior. Although we may not get immediate answers to our prayers, but because of the wonderful prayer promises in the Bible we know that we are heard. In Psalm 34, for example, David reviewed his prayers and the Lord’s answers. Then he said, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry” (v. 15). So, my brethren, if you belong to a local church, it’s your responsibility as its member to pray earnestly and faithfully in the below listed areas for your pastor’s:
A. Relationship with God.
(1) Pray for God to pour out His grace, loving kindness, and goodness upon your pastor;
(2) Blessings in fellowship with God;
(3) His own spiritual needs and growth;
(4) Prayer life for himself, his family, his ministry and others;
(5) To be filled with the Holy Spirit;
(6) Growing in God’s grace;
(7) Victory through Christ over burdens, temptations, and discouragements;
(8) Time and study in God’s Word;
(9) Wisdom to discern God’s truth.
B. Physical health and safety.
(1) Spared from causing or being in any accident or violence;
(2) Spared from life-threatening disease or injuries;
(3) Permitted to physically suffer only what can build Christlikeness.
C. Emotional health and safety.
(2) Biblical accountability;
(3) That difficulties (e. g. conflict, loneliness, finances, disappointment) can be God’s refining tools;
(4) Guard, guide, protect, bless and use.
(1) Godly husband to his wife;
(2) Doing the work to build a marriage that stands firms in tests and ordeals;
(3) Godly father and to his children;
(4) Salvation of his children and their growth in Christ;
(5) Grace, mercy, wisdom in bringing up his children;
(6) Children learn to trust and obey parents, yield to parents’ authority;
(7) Spiritual life of the family;
(8) Relationships between aging parents and adult children.
E. Need to receive wisdom and grace from God. To understand and deal with the unique culture of the community and the church and with the needs within the membership of the church.
(1) The church and its ministries through members and pastoral staff;
(2) Preaching; teaching; evangelizing; discipling, fellowship; compassion; helps; and administration;
(3) Holy Spirit to raise up leaders;
(4) Guide and enable workers in any special emphasis, project, or new ministry being planned or undertaken;
(5) People to be born again and desire to grow spiritually;
(6) Ongoing spiritual growing and maturing of believers.
I’m sure that you can add other areas to the above ones I have mentioned. The point to this devotional is that pastors aren’t exempt from temptation and your pastor needs the prayers of his members. The Scripture tells us with assurance, that when we “come boldly to the throne of grace” in prayer, we can know that our loving God will never turn us away.
My brethren, prayer is conversation with Someone we love and with whom we want to stay close. It is communication with our heavenly Father. Please notice how the writer of Psalm 84 longed to be near to God. “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God (Psalm 84:2). When we pray, we are enriched by the growing bond that develops between us and the Lord. Prayer is complex; however, we must not miss the great truth that when we as God’s children draw near to Him in prayer He draws near to us (James 4:8).
A delegation of American pastors was visiting Charles Spurgeon and they asked him the secret of his success. In response, Spurgeon led them to the lower level of his church and quietly opened the door, revealing over 400 people praying for God’s blessing and power to rest upon their pastor who would stand in the pulpit that night to preach the word of God. “There, gentlemen,” said Spurgeon, “is the secret for God’s blessing his work here.”
The apostle Paul, himself a man of deep prayer, knew the unrivaled effectiveness of prayer in the ministry. He begged the church to pray for him: “I urge you, brothers… that you join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” (Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:18-20; 2 Corinthians 1:8-12) Your pastor knows it is only through earnest, strategic prayer that he will be an effective minister in the hands of God. He, like Paul, urges you to pray for him as he oversees the flock of God in your church. Will you let the Holy Spirit lead you as you pray in faith through the above listed areas, expecting God to work?
An important part of praying is also a willingness to be part of the answer.