I was reminded today of how vital prayer is for those God calls to lead His people and His church. We are all equally loved by God, but we are not all equally called or equipped (I am a preacher. I would never be a church administrator. That would be a bad dream).
I stood with my wife and two sons in the midst of 15,000 people today as we celebrated Jesus and His gospel at the 10 year anniversary of Newspring Church. I wept and shouted and worshiped. One of the most meaningful aspects of this time of rejoicing was seeing one of the very best friends I’ve ever had stand on the stage, proclaiming the gospel and pointing people to Jesus Christ. As Perry preached, I prayed for him. And God reminded me that we should all pray for one another, and particularly for those who lead us. Here is what I pray daily for pastors and leaders:
1. I pray that they would love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and that ministry would never become a mistress that steals them from their first love, Jesus Christ.
2. I pray that they love and serve their wife and kids with gracious and glad hearts and that their family loves the church instead of hating it for stealing their daddy or husband away from them.
3. I pray that they would be anointed by the Holy Spirit and filled with passion, conviction, and dedication to their calling, their own spiritual growth, and to Jesus Christ.
4. I pray that for confidence and humility: that they would walk in power and authority to lead, all the while kneeling in humility as gentle shepherds who care for people’s souls.
5. I pray for their encouragement in the faith and the ministry and against those who would attack, slander, harm, or speak evil against them.
6. I pray that their sermons would be accurate, true, powerful, convicting, bold, encouraging, creative, anointed, and Christ-centered.
7. I pray for their physical and emotional health, that God would guard them from burnout and depression.
8. I pray they would always celebrate other ministers and their successes and never fall prey to envy, jealousy, insecurity, or comparison.
9. I pray for their purity and holiness and against all sinful schemes, scandals, lust, affairs, the love of money, and pride.
10. I pray that when they lay their heads down at night, they fall asleep and stay asleep, and rest both physically and spiritually, knowing that it’s not “their” church or ministry they are leading, but God’s.
11. I pray that they set a pace and create daily habits and rituals that will allow them to have a faithful ministry and one day to finish better than they started.
12. I pray that they take time to have fun, do things they enjoy, waste time investing in a hobby that has nothing to do wtih minsitry, date their wives and play with their kids, read good books and get away often to find peace in solitude.
13. I pray that God raises up people around them to assist them, serve them, honor them, encourage them, pray for them, admonish them, and protect them.
14. I pray that ministry, teaching, preaching, and leading will never become a chore for them, but that it would always be a joy and a blessing to serve the Lord and His people with gladness, and that they would enjoy every aspect of leading, whether easy or hard, for the glory of God.
I pray these things for you if you are a pastor or a leader. I hope you will pray them for one another.