I was recently studying Paul’s admonitions and requests to the churches at Colossae, Thessalonica, and Philippi to pray for him. From the deplorable condition of being chained like a criminal for preaching Christ, he pleaded for prayer from the church body for deliverance, boldness, and clarity of message. What an example to any man or woman of God called to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
Despite Paul’s cultural and educational pedigree, he knew that the ultimate key to his success was the anointing of the Holy Spirit made more prevalent in his life and ministry through the prayer of the saints of God. Like Paul, without this partnership prayer for spiritual leadership, we are all limited in our understanding, impact, and fruit. Think of it this way, if Paul, with all of his accomplishments, training, and giftings felt the need for prayer, how much more do we that minister in today’s generation need that prayer?
I want to encourage you to pray for your pastors and spiritual leaders. I’ve listed some very powerful results that the saints can expect in the lives of their spiritual leaders when the churches consistently and passionately pray for them. A wise man once said that every failure in the believer’s life is a prayer failure…a failure to pray.
1. Prayer empowers your pastor to live right. The enemy is doing everything he can to take down God-called men and women of God. Your faithful intercession for their personal lives will strengthen them with the resolve and wisdom to say “no” to ungodliness in every battle and temptation.
2. Prayer empowers your pastor to love right. Spiritual leaders are not exempt from the tendency to get hurt, put out, or offended. They are not much good to anyone if they allow a root of bitterness to grow in their hearts or if they lose their compassion for the flock of God. By praying that your leaders will maintain sensitivity of heart you will help ensure that they will, despite the many opportunities, reject offense and choose to walk in love no matter what they go through.
3. Prayer empowers your pastor to listen right. It’s never been more critical for spiritual leadership to develop and maintain a hearing ear when it comes to the urgings, promptings, and direction of the Holy Spirit. There is so much spiritual chatter out there and this will only increase as the Day of the Lord draws near. With all this noise and distraction it is very important that you pray for your spiritual leaders to be ultra sensitive to the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit. They cannot teach right if they cannot hear right.
4. Prayer empowers your pastor to learn right. People today have an increasing interest and fascination with the supernatural and hidden or secret knowledge that will help them succeed in life. The problem is people are turning to influences that are actually thinly veiled doctrines of devils instead of seeking the Kingdom of God, the God of the Kingdom, and the revelation knowledge of that Kingdom. The primary responsibility of the spiritual leader is to receive revelation from the Word of God and share it with the people of God for their growth and development. Leaders cannot teach what they themselves have not learned.
5. Prayer empowers your pastor to lead right. Spiritual leaders are required to make hundreds of decisions every week that affect the churches and organizations they serve. When spiritual leaders miss it, they take others down the wrong path with them. It is paramount that the body of Christ pray for their leaders to make biblical, wise, ethical, and strategic decisions. Like all believers, leaders will also make mistakes, but the number of mistakes can be drastically reduced if the people of God would pray for their spiritual leaders and confess the mind of Christ over them.
Let us pray…