Lessons for a Young Pastor: Pray Always

Every pastor needs a pastor, especially young pastors.  Timothy had Paul, and for young pastors today we have a wealth of experienced pastors (both past and present) to teach us through books, blogs and talks.

As a young pastor I want to and need to listen and learn from these men.

Here are some lessons I’ve learnt from a number of experienced pastors from the book ‘Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry’.

Here’s some notes from the next letter to pastor called Timothy (a composite character).

Lesson 19: Pray Always

Martin Holdt writes that:

“Tragically prayer is an underemphasised part of the pastor’s calling today.”

Pastors may excuse themselves from prayer because of their busy schedules, but he asks:

“Was there ever a man as busy as Jesus?”

The fact is: “The minister who does not pray for his flock is no minister at all.”

“The duty of the pastor to pray for his entire congregation by name.  The Scriptures say of Aaron that he bore a breastplate with the names of the children of Israel on his breast.  Take note also of Samuel’s example when he said, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.”

Here are his 10 features of Biblical praying:

  1. Necessity – “without prayer a man cannot be a Christian.”
  2. Urgency
  3. Value its critical importance – “we are helpless without it.”
  4. Helplessness – “prayerfulness is Calvinism at its best.”
  5. Constancy – “David prayed seven times a day; Daniel, three times a day.  Luther, meeting a friend in the street, would say, “Brother, do I find you praying?”
  6. Content – “Oh, that prayers would be an expression of the will of God as it is set down in Scripture!”
  7. Importunity – “It is giving God no rest until He gives peace to Jerusalem.”
  8. Certainty – “This means faith.”
  9. Extent – “The believer, on bended knee, covets one thing more than anything – that Christ should have a following, a following that adores Him.”
  10. The goal – “The goal is the glory of God.”

[Taken from Chapter 6: Pray Always by Martin Holdt]