How many pastors have you heard of who have fallen into sin? How many pastors do you know who have burned out and given up? How many pastors that you’re familiar with have lost their fire and settled for mediocrity?
These are very real dangers, threats to the success of the preaching and teaching and counseling that are a part of a pastor’s responsibilities in the church. Without God’s help, every man or woman of God charged with equipping the church for ministry will fall into these traps. Without the prayers of the saints, every pastor will be less effective in his or her work.
Look at Paul, the apostle. He was a great preacher. He served helpfully and spoke powerfully to believer and non-believer alike. People were blessed by his ministry. We idolize him, but he was not without needs. Over and over we find him asking for prayer. He understood his need of support better than most. Listen to him.
In Romans 15:30-32 we read his plea. “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.” (NIV)
Again in Ephesians 6:19-20 we find him begging for prayer. “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (NIV)
Philippians 1:18-19, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” (NIV)
To the Thessalonian church he writes asking for prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:25, “Brothers, pray for us.” (NIV)
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2, “…brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” (NIV)
And finally, assuming, as many do, that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, we find these words in chapter 13, verses 18 and 19: “Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.” (NIV)
Over and over again, we see this leader in the early church asking for prayer from God’s people. If Paul needed prayer, I need it. Your pastor needs it too. Pray for those who lead your church. Do it right now!
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