Monday, March 31, 2008

Pray for Those who Preach

In most of Paul’s letters, he included a record of exactly what he prayed for the churches or individuals he was writing to. His prayers are rich with insights into the character of God and Paul’s own love for the churches. However, Paul did not just pray for his readers. He often asked them to pray specifically for him. For example, at the end of Ephesians, he asks the church to pray that he would be given boldness that he might preach the gospel (Eph. 6:19-20). In Colossians, Paul requests prayer for his ability to make the gospel clear when he preaches it (Col. 4:3-4).

Prayer is essential to the fruitfulness of preaching. God has ordained that prayer be one of the means by which He accomplishes His purposes through preaching. Once, Charles Spurgeon (The Prince of Preachers) was asked about his obvious success in preaching. He simply replied, “My people pray for me.” What a profound insight from a man who knew that he was not alone behind that pulpit. He was confident that God was with him because his congregation was laboring in prayer for him and with him.

Christians, how often do you pray for your pastors who preach the Word of God to you? How devoted in prayer are you for the work of preaching? The health of the church is dependent on a man of God standing with an open Bible and declaring the glory of Christ’s person and work. The success of the sermon depends upon the sovereign work of God to open our hearts to hear and apply His Word. Thus, we must plead with God for His blessing on the preacher and on the message he preaches.

Here are a few suggestions of what to pray for those who preach:
1. During the week, pray for God to reveal the burden of the text to him.
2. During the week, pray that God would grip the preacher’s heart with His glory revealed in the text.
3. On Sunday morning, pray that God would free him from distractions.
4. On Sunday morning, pray that he would proclaim the truth boldly and clearly.
5. On Sunday morning, pray for God to powerfully speak through him.
6. On Sunday morning, pray that Christ would be treasured by all gathered.

Think of the effect on your own heart of praying for those who preach. When we plead with God to do these things, we will wake on Sunday with an anticipation of what He is going to say to us as we hear His Word. All glory for successful preaching should ultimately go to Jesus Christ, who purchased all good things on the cross. However, pray in such a way that your pastor will be able to say, “My people pray for me” when he senses the help of God to proclaim the gospel.

A concluding word to parents: What an impact it would make on your children to hear their father and mother regularly praying by name for their pastors.


Jim Duggan said...

Awesome post, Justin. And thank you. With your permission I want to share this with my church, and with two churches later in the month where I will be preaching revivals.

God bless you, bro!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I've already forwarded it to our prayer team, so that they can be praying even better for our pastor.

pastor justin said...

Yes, feel free to use this post however you want. May God make us a praying people who love to hear God's Word exposited with power.

Eric M Schumacher said...

Thanks, Justin.

I'll be using this as a bulletin insert real soon!

GUNNY said...

I would SO rejoice to know those in my congregation would pray for me in this fashion.


p-russ said...

Thans for this post - it is insightful, challenging and very timely. If we as a chruch take this to heart it will not only change our preaching, but our people and the community. great post.

Anonymous said...

A gracious and helpful reminder.

And as well as praying for our pastors, we need to examine carefully what they are teaching from the Word of God as faithful Bereans so that if they stray from sound doctrine, others may confront them with humility, grace and Christian charity and encourage them again to hold fast the faith and guard the trust.

By His grace and for His glory,

Amy, a redeemed Sheep said...

Thank you for this post and for the permission to share it. I passed it on to our email prayer chain. :o)

Scott Newton Smith said...

This post is right on. With 1500 pastors leaving the ministry per month, the exit door is getting bigger than the entrance.

Our prayers for preachers matter. Let's pray for their families, too. They are always under spiritual burden and attack.

I've dedicated myself to help stop the bleeding and be a personal encouragement to pastors through our podcast, but also to daily remind myself that my best friends in the ministry have been pastors through the years.

Unsung heroes, they are.

Scott Newton Smith

Anonymous said...

with your permission men of god pastor justin i would like to share it to the members though i am not a pastor i just like to share it to let them know (members) how important the prayers to our pastor too..thanks for this power

Xuan said...

Thank you for the post. I'm leading the prayer of my congregation today and our preacher asked me to pray for him. I read this post, and now think I know what to pray for.

yeti said...

I like your suggestions of how we ought to pray for those who preach. I find (like is suggested in Screwtape letters) that prayer for those who preach can lead us to praying about the things they do which bother us, and even lead us to a place of pride and thinking that we are better than them. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't pray for them. pray for them we should, but let us do it out of love, and as directed by God. And I do like your suggestions.

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