PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR
97 % of pastors have been betrayed, falsely accused, or hurt by their trusted friends. 70 % of pastors battle depression.
7,000 churches close each year.
1, 500 pastors quit each month.
10 % will retire a pastor.
80 % of pastors feel discouraged.
94 % of pastor’s families feel the pressure of ministry.
78 % of pastors have no close friends.
90 % of pastors report working 55 – 75 hours per week.
PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR
As you pray for pastors, pray that the Lord will give to congregations individuals who meet the spiritual qualifications of a Biblical pastor. Many times, the Biblical qualifications for being an elder, or pastor, are simply ignored, and the work of the ministry in the local church is hurt.
“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:1-7).
As you pray for pastors, pray that they will have “tough hides but tender hearts.” Pray they will have “one blind eye”, as Mr. Spurgeon liked to tell his pastoral students, meaning that not every issue has to be made into a major offense.
As you pray for pastors, pray they will be teachable. The voice of the saints of the ages must be studied, and heard, for the truth to be passed from one generation to the next. There is a contemporary faith, and there is a historic faith. it is the historic faith the faithful pastor is to learn about, and embrace. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
As you pray for pastors, pray they will know how to love. Part of knowing how to love, is not suspecting the motives of others, or ascribing to them motives they do not have. Part of knowing how to love, is not being suspicious, or constantly demanding personal reaffirmation. It is easy to stand before a congregation, and say, week after week, “I love you.” It is harder to demonstrate authentic love to others.
“There is a pastor, himself he cherished,
Who loved his position not his parish
So the more he preached
The less he reached
And this is why his parish perished.”
As you pray for pastors, remember that, ideally, they are God’s gifts to the church. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:11). At a pastoral ordination, or a pastoral installation, it would be good for the candidate to kneel before the congregation for prayer, after which the people should sing:
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Robert Murray McCheyne wrote to Dan Edwards after the latter’s ordination as a missionary, “In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God”.
There are many pastors who do appreciate the prayers of the people. While they might get weary in the work of ministry, they do not get weary of the work of ministry. What pastors do want is for more people to understand the challenges they face, reflected in the journal entry of one minister who wrote: “”If I wanted to drive a manager up the wall, I would make him responsible for the success of an organization and give him no authority. I would provide him with unclear goals, not commonly agreed upon by the organization. I would ask him to provide a service of an ill-defined nature, apply a body of knowledge having few absolutes, and staff his organization with only volunteers. I would expect him to work ten to twelve hours per day and have his work evaluated by a committee of 300 to 500 amateurs. I would call him a minister and make him accountable to God” (Pastors at Risk).
PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR