October is pastor appreciation month. Don’t forget to send your pastor an encouraging note (or a book or even an iPad)!
But what’s more important and perhaps more difficult is to pray for your pastor fervently and consistently. Pastor and Crossway author Joe Thorn recently offered the following great suggestions on his blog (original post).
We challenge you to take 5 or 10 minutes today to pull away to pray fervently for your pastor along these lines:
For The Word To Be At Work In His Heart
Before he preaches the word to others your pastor needs to experience the word himself. Pray that he would search the Scripture to know God and his truth personally, and then bring that to the people. Ask God to impress on him the practical implications of the doctrines revealed in the text, to convict him of his own sin, and work grace in his heart. Ask God to make his message the offspring of Bible and belief, bearing the distinguishing marks of truth and passion.
For Jesus To Be Exalted In His Message
The goal of his preaching should be to make much of Jesus, bringing him before the people with clarity and conviction. So, pray that whether he is in the Old or New Testaments, hitting a passage heavy on law or gospel, that he would be led to point his hearers to the gospel hope of pardon and peace in Jesus Christ.
For The Spirit to Empower His Preaching
As gifted as your pastor may be, he remains a weak and sinful man in himself. The only hope he has for his preaching to carry power is the Holy Spirit’s ministry of conviction, conversion, and counsel. Pray for The Holy Spirit to do what only he can do–empower the preaching of a mere man who holds out the words of life with trembling hands.
For His Satisfaction to be Found in Jesus
Preachers often struggle with feelings of failure after they step away from the pulpit. Mondays can be times of doubt and frustration for many ministers. Pray that your pastor would be so satisfied with what he has in Christ that even if he lost his way while preaching he would remain confident that Christ has neither lost him nor his word. Ask God to give your pastor such confidence in the Spirit’s power and the Scripture’s sufficiency that should his last sermon fail to live up to his standards, his hope remains steadfast for God can use any man’s preaching, no matter how deficient, as long as he gives the people the word. Pray that your pastor would have the mindset that “success” is simply faithfulness to God, and fruitfulness determined by God.
JOE THORN is the founding and lead pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in Saint Charles, Illinois. He is an active blogger at JoeThorn.net and author of Note to Self.