How to Pray for Your Pastor…
1. When you’re in a hurry: “Lord, Pastor _________________!” God knows the needs of your pastor. Even a quick intervention deepens your spiritual commitment to your pastor’s well-being and your relationship with God.
2. When the pastor seems stressed: “Dear God, I’m not sure what’s happening with Pastor _________. I ask for your peace to surround him/her and for your presence to be felt and perceived. May amazing grace be evident to him/her in the week ahead.” Pastors often have lots on their minds- some things that are public and some things that are not. Families, plumbing, health issues, money, neighbors- pastors are people, too, and they need the prayers that they often pray for you!
3. When you are in disagreement: “Ruler of the universe, I give you thanks for your Holy Spirit who brings discernment and guidance to all people. I am grieved at the division in your church. I seek clarity from your written word and inspiration from the Living Word. Help Pastor _______ to be open to how you revealing yourself in truth. Help me to open to new learning and wisdom as well. I ask this, trusting in your faithfulness to all involved in this conversation.” Dissention in the church brings grief to pastors. No person wants to fight with loved ones. Yet, even the most conflict-avoidant people eventually have disagreements. Your pastor is praying for you in this situation and for how to be a good pastor. It is good for you to return the effort. It will not go unnoticed.
4. When something doesn’t seem right: “Dear God, I renounce the forces that oppose you in the world. I especially reject any attempts these forces may be making in the life of my pastor or in the life of his/her family. I ask for the strengthening of your Holy Spirit in protection and aid and that your enemy would find no quarter here! Amen!” Your pastor is on the front lines of spiritual life- for you and for others. Being in front means being at the first line of attack. Unfortunately, there are spiritual (and material) forces that oppose God’s desire for wholeness and healing in the world. Your pastor is not immune to these oppositions. When you pray for God’s protection for a pastor or anyone else in these situations, you are forming what is called a “prayer covering”. The more people who join in this type of prayer, with sincerity of heart, the better for the pastor and for the congregation.
5. When church was great: “Blessed are you, Creator of the Universe, who has drawn us together this day to praise your name. Thank you for the songs and the musicians. Thank you for the readers and the assistants. Thank you for the good news of Jesus Christ, which brings me hope and confidence again and again. Thank you for our pastor and his/her sensitivity to your word and will. Praise be to you forever! Amen.” Or something like that. A prayer of thanksgiving is not nothing and you’ll remember the 30 seconds you sat in your car, thanking God for church, longer than you will remember the service.