Notes and quotes from How to pray for your Pastor by Derek Brown.
1. “Our view of the pastoral ministry will directly affect how we pray for our pastors.”
2. Pastors are to pray for their people. But God’s people are also to pray for their leaders, which is why the apostle Paul often asked people to pray for him and his ministry.
3. We should pray for our pastors in light of their qualifications, their specific roles and responsibilities, and their unique pressures and temptations.
4. Luther: “For more than a week I have been thrown back and forth in death and hell; my whole body feels beaten, my limbs are still trembling. I almost lost Christ completely, driven about one the ways and storms of despair and blasphemy against God. But because of the intercession of the faithful, God began to take mercy on me and tore my soul from the depths of hell.”
5. Praying for your pastor benefits the whole congregation, it benefits you, and anyone else who benefits from your pastor’s ministry.
6. “Could it be that some pastors are failing because their people are not praying for them according to God’s Word?”
7. It is God’s grace that a pastor remains qualified for pastoral ministry throughout his pastoral career.
8. Pray that your pastor would maintain his passion for ministry, would take care to watch over their personal lives, would not be worried about not having enough money or distracted by thoughts of acquiring more, would grow in their ability to understand and preach God’s Word, would have time they need to read, study and prepare, would sustain and bless their teaching ministry, would have courage to lead in church discipline, would trust wholly in the Holy Spirit for the spiritual growth of the congregation and for the salvation of once-professing Christians who have defected, and would endure.
9. “Satan has a special interest in attacking and undoing [pastors].” He will target the pastor’s weakness and sinful inclinations.
10. Producing spiritual fruit and repentance in the hearts of people is not a burden that pastors are to bear.
11. Pray for your pastor’s wife and children. There are unique burdens that come from being a pastor’s wife, one of which “will be for her husband when he is maligned and attacked by other members or regular attenders of the church.” For the pastor’s children, “there can be an unspoken expectation from the church that [they] will behave and act in an unusually mature, way, even as young kids.”
12. If a church is regularly, intentionally, praying biblically informed prayer for their pastors they might expect these seven areas of blessing:
– A competent pastoral ministry.
– A spiritually healthy church.
– The salvation of sinners and the perseverance of the saints.
– Personal encouragement to grow.
– Love for your pastor.
– A happy shepherd.
– Emerging future pastors.
13. “When we pray for our pastors according to biblical categories, we will be far less likely to judge their ministry efforts unfairly or in an overly critical manner.”
14. “Pastors experience much grief from the hands of prayerless church members whose raw words of suggestion, correction, or rebuke have yet to be refined by genuine supplication to Jesus on their behalf.”
15. If we want our prayers for our pastors to be effective, we need to pray according to God’s will, which is why around what God’s Word says about the pastor’s qualifications, roles, and specific pressures and temptations is a good thing to do.
16. If you are praying for your pastor, let him know. It will be a great encouragement to him, to know that he can “rely upon your prayers to keep him qualified, to empower his ministry, and to aid him in fending off the devil and his many schemes.”
17. Your pastor needs your prayers. “He needs grace to remain qualified; he needs wisdom and perseverance to carry out his responsibilities; he needs power in his preaching; he needs patience in his counselling; he needs holiness in his personal life; and he needs authenticity in his walk with Jesus.” Pray for your pastor.