I’ve been in full-time ministry for just over 21 years now. That scares me and I have no idea where the time went. God has allowed me to see and experience some amazing things: lives changed, miracles, provision…and it’s truly been a privilege. But that period has brought more than its share of anxiety, stress, discouragement, and reminders of my insecurity, inadequacy, and inability. People expect us to be perfect but constantly remind us that we’re not. They think we just sit around all week, praying, singing, and reading our Bibles. Would it surprise anyone that ministers actually struggle with their prayer lives, just like anybody else?
Why anyone would want to become a lead pastor is beyond me outside of the call of God. It has to be God. While I face battles, I can’t imagine the daily attacks and pressure that the Lord’s appointed person endures. I’m definitely not perfect, but I try to serve him faithfully and if possible, lift some of the burden froms his shoulders.
“And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
“The Lord commanded that those who preach the good news should be supported by those who benefit from it.” (1 Corinthians 9:14).
“Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” (Hebrews 13:17)
So this is how I pray for my pastor…
- God would bless and protect his marriage
- His entire family: health, finances, relationships with God
- Anointing: Supernatural grace and strength to face the everyday challenges
- Wisdom to lead and counsel
- Protection: physically, emotionally, and spiritually…against accusation and unreasonable people
- Provision: personally and for the ministry
- God would guard his mind against lust, discouragement, fear, compromise, comparison, success, and envy
- Joy, peace, and fulfillment as he serves
- Restful and replenishing sleep
- God would continue to surprise him and keep him fresh
- Presence: that his relationship and time with God would he his absolute priority
- That he’d get a deer…
Not just for Pastors Appreciation Month, but on a regular basis, please show your gratitude and appreciation for God’s servants. Send them notes, emails…the good kind. Commend them after they share the Word. Get them and their spouses gift cards to restaurants. Remember their birthdays, anniversaries, and bless them at Christmas. Rake their leaves. Shovel their driveways. Surprise them with homemade cookies. Wash their car. Walk their dog. Take them out for coffee. Have them over for a meal. Babysit their kids. Speak well of them. Shut down gossip and slander about them. Follow their direction. And please, please, please…pray for them.
It will go well with you if you do 🙂