Last time, we talked about building a strong prayer hedge around your pastor. (“Your Pastor’s Back”) I hope it made a difference where you worship. You might ask around and see.
Whenever I talk to a congregation or a church board on this topic someone is bound to ask something like, “But what should we pray about? How do we know what his or her needs are? Should we talk to our pastor about what they want us to pray about for them?”
Absolutely. That’s a great place to start. Whenever one of my members would ask how they could pray for me I would often ask that they pray that God would help me baptize my calendar every morning. Doing the things that need to be done, not necessarily the easy ones or the visible ones, is a constant stretch. God is the great Choreographer, and if I seek His direction He will show me. And if I know others are seeking that direction with me I sense a greater confidence as I arrange my priorities. He’ll also help me ration my time at the computer.
And there are the obvious things for that prayer list. That God will grant protection – it’s not uncommon for a pastor to drive a thousand miles a week. For good health – caregivers often prioritize reaching out to others, to their own hurt. Nowhere is that more essential than in their own personal worship time…the temptation to read to preach rather than to read to become is strong. It’s unlikely that your pastor will ever be able to lead you where they have never gone, so pray that he/she will begin each day “fresh from glory.”
For the pastor’s family – that there will be an atmosphere in their home that will help the kids – and the spouse – fall in love with Jesus over and over again, so that He will be the joyous focus of their lives.
Maybe those are the easy ones, the obvious. But there are others. Like purity. Like transparency. Like being authentic, real. Like the battle every “up front” person faces – arrogance. And the opposite – courage to confront in a redemptive way when necessary…in spite of the desire to be liked.
I could go on but as you can see, your prayer list for your pastor is apt to be a long one. You may not get clear through it every day, but that’s okay, because the needs change every day. So ask the Lord to show you how He wants to shape your intercession each day for the shepherd He has sent; then listen.
By Don Jacobsen